Here’s a strange new trend: popular rappers who sell millions of albums (even after the bottom dropped out of the industry) releasing tracks with a… waddayacallit?… a MESSAGE. Interesting.
In this corner, we have Big Boi and Mary J. Blige with the lead single from Daddy Fat Sacks’s forthcoming solo record. Message: the economy sucks and is killing folks.
And in this corner, Nas hits us up with his pro-‘Bama single, “Black President.” Message: cautious optimism about the possibility of Obama getting elected.
And as long as I’m linking new hip hop with a message, check out this track from Killer Mike and Ice Cube, even though Mike isn’t a big name and therefore this has only a little to do with the point of this post. Message: uh, I don’t think I’m qualified to sum this one up. But it’s a damn heavy track.
In retrospect, I think Kanye telling us that George Bush doesn’t care about black people might have been some kind of spark. We can probably also thank the recession and bubbling political climate we’re in. It’s a very positive trend, to me – so much mainstream hip hop of the last few years (hate to say it, but basically since the South took over) has been completely substance-free. We need more artists stirring the pot and – to borrow a Pharcydeism – kickin’ somethin’ that means somethin’.