High-Minded Hip-Hop Any Progressive Can Enjoy

When it comes to hip-hop I often feel like Chris Rock who once said, "I love rap, but I'm tired of defending it." So much of it just sounds the same or worse, it's degrading and beneath everyone involved. For those of you who the same or wouldn't normally even get near a hip-hop section of your record store, you need to give an upcoming album featuring Cornel West deserves a listen.

It's technically the second album headlined by the acclaimed best-selling author and activist, but this one, called, Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations, boasts a heavier presence of stars like Prince, Talib Kweli, KRS-One and Andre 3000 of Outkast. While West is by no means a seasoned rapper, he isn't a slouch either. Even though a middle aged Princeton professor, he delivers vocals with authority and panache. In a recent Baltimore Sun article West says:


"This is a whole new different level to connecting the spiritual with the political," West says of the album. "I'm bringing to hip-hop that old-school sensibility. Let me try to bring a sense of history. Let's give our younger people a knowledge of their rich history."
The album touches on "Bushonomics" on the first track, September 11th, the environment, the Iraq War, our dependence on foreign oil and a host of other issues and events that at best would only get a passing reference in your typical rap record, or rock record these days for that matter. West recognizes, what so many pundits and writers fail to, that hip-hop, for better or for worse, is the music that is most influential on the current generation of young people today, particularly in communities of color, and to deny its positive qualities or question its influence is not the best way to utilize its power. Here's more from West on this project:
"Black music, my brother, is a reflection and refraction of the soul of black America," says West, 54, calling from a New York hotel on a recent weekday morning. "The music reveals a lot about who we are and where are right now. My calling is as an educator. The text is readable education. The CD is danceable education."
#story_page_ below_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.