At one point in time, the Political/Conscious song was a staple in Hip Hop, mainly during the Golden Era. Before the labels of “Gangsta, Hipster, Horror Core or Conscious, emcees were able to broadcast live from the front lines of black and Latino neighborhoods much like CNN without being placed in a box. Acts like Public Enemy, X Clan, Brand Nubian and even Gangsters like NWA all made songs detailing deteriorating conditions in the neighborhoods, police brutality and a call of unity/arms. Even conscious songs like Self Destruction and We Are All In The Same Gang was able to get mainstream radio play, right in between MC Hammer and Michelle. But as Hip Hop became the new gold rush, eventually growing into a multi-billion dollar machine, this unfortunately attracted people who only wanted to take away from the culture and capitalize on the new money..
All but doing away with the political/conscious song, these new record company executives instead pressured artists to make songs that were radio friendly and more marketable. Forcing those that actually had a message to share to go underground to scratch and claw just so they could be heard. Or to create a lane (Conscious rap) that even to this day is hard to get out of once your placed into that box without much if any radio play.
So in honor of the almost forgotten political/conscious Hip Hop song, I decided to make a list of my favorite songs with a message. So I present to you Breazy’s list of songs that make you think.
F*ck The Police – NWA.
Heed The Word – X-Clan
Wake Up – Brand Nubian
Boogie Down Productions – You Must Learn
Fighting – Goodie Mob
Dig It- Coup
Fight The Power
What do you think? Do you agree, or disagree? If so, what are some of your favorite conscious/political Hip Hop songs?
Talk to me, I’ll talk back.