Hip Hop began as a movement for social change and justice in the late 70’s and early 80’s. We speak of the lyrical activists of original Hip Hop when the most conscious rap songs contain positive, uplifting messages, often delivered over smooth, ear-grabbing beats. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5’s “The Message” and Slick Rick’s “Hey Young World” are grand examples of early conscious hip-hop tracks. Remember when Queen Latifah had her fist in the air with her Royal headwrap telling sistas they were “Queens” and Public Enemy, told youth to “Fight The Power” and “F*** The Police?”
Conscious hip-hop is often confused with its musical cousin, political hip-hop, possibly because they both speak to social turmoil. A disdain for commercialism is another common thread that weaves the two styles together. Politically charged songs by the likes of Dead Prez and Public Enemy are usually delivered in a militant fashion. The conscious message, on the other hand, empowers by uplifting the listener. Close your eyes and pick any album from The Coup’s catalog and you will have walked in on a crash course on political hip-hop.
We are glad to see the consciousness levels in Hip-Hop rising from where it left off oh so long ago. More power to the young new Hip-Hop artists rising up in these times. Continue to seek and reveal the TRUTH!