Hip Hop was a product of an extremely political era, however the strong and opinionated narratives that are rooted in some of our earlier favourites somehow disappeared and over the years got outshined by what I like to call Hip Pop… But could there be a change? I’ve noticed that there is yet again an appreciation for rappers with substance, knowledgeable dialogue, and who just give a damn about what is happening in the world.
While we have always had our political rappers like Immortal Technique, who choose not to opt for the commercial following, conscious rapper Common’s 2011 comeback was huge, and exempli? ed Hip hop fans need for intellectual lyricism. The appreciation of Rappers like Pharoahe Monch, Talib Kweli, Common, and the more recent Kendrick Lamar, who received a lot of love in 2011, takes us back to the earlier days of the genre, and reminds us of just how important of a tool music is when it comes to expressing our views.
His social commentary and deep lyrics addressed the issues and hardships of a struggling generation.
In the U.K the political sounds of Lowkey and Akala, has given their music a passport to travel overseas. Lowkey who is also a political activist, often appearing in the media voicing his opinion on current a airs, uses his music as another platform to convey his conscious views. His 2011 album ‘Soundtrack to the Struggle’ was not only quality hip hop, but was an intellectual account full of facts from 16th century colonialism to today’s occupations, identifying his need to inform his listeners and urge them to think as an activist. Having collaborated with like-minded prominent interna-tional rap artists like Immortal Technique and M1, Lowkey’s
overseas following has allowed him to be a strong representative from the
UK in the conscious rap scene.
Should the remainder of 2012 bring us another year of the corruption, invasions, riots and revolutions that we witnessed last year, it’s good to see more appreciation for the rappers that seek to kick some serious knowledge.