If you are a real rap or hip hop fan in 2015 and you aren’t familiar with Dee-1 yet, I’m sorry to say it, but you’ve been missing out. However at the same time, it feels good knowing that I’m introducing you to the brother. I mean let’s be honest, how many rappers are spitting hot music that is conscious? If you are a real hip hop head you are down with conscious rap because that it where it comes from – consciously speaking about everyday life.
Matter of fact, since we’re talking conscious rap and hip hop, here is a little list with some of my favorites; Immortal Technique, Common, Talib Kweli, Nas, Masta Ace, Lupe Fiasco, Dead Prez, Murs, The Roots – Black Thought, Mos Def, Edo G, Killer Mike, Brother Ali, Tupac, Public Enemy – Chuck D, X-Clan, Kendrick Lamar and KRS-One to name a few. I know I’m forgetting a few big ones (current and a bunch of artist/ groups from the 90s), but this should keep you busy if your interested in quality rap and hip hop music with a meaningful message behind it. *And feel free to send me emails with others, eventually I’ll be posting a list of the top conscious rappers… TheReelAce@gmail.com
Now some might question me putting Kendrick, Nas, or Tupac on this list, but if you dig into their music, you’ll see that they are conscious. Of course there will be party or somewhat aggressive songs that don’t necessary always fit the mold, and that is fine here and there, but ultimately they were/are modern day griots, telling the story of what they saw while growing up in their communities. To some extent, and some people will get mad at me, Macklemore has somewhat of a conscious background (check out White Privilege). And even Kanye West is conscious at times, so it can be a little difficult to draw the line on the conscious rapper topic.
Here is a short video with Michael Eric Dyson helping to explain this whole concept of conscious rap and hip hop.
As you will hear in “Jay, 50, and Weezy”, Dee-1 has an important message for other rappers, hip hop fans, and the music industry. I like Jay Z, 50 Cent and Lil Wayne, but lets be honest, majority of their songs are doing more harm to the black community than good. And as Dee-1 touches on, it’s not only about the rappers, they are only a part of the problem. But enough from me, I’ll let Dee-1 educate ya’ll on the rest of the story…