When asked the question of what revolutionary hip-hop music I listen to, it is hard to name many new artists. Let’s start off by defining what revolutionary hip-hop music means to me.
A revolutionary is defined as anyone that has a strong spirit to fight for freedom. Revolutionaries are willing to stand up and fight for freedom, no matter what it takes.
Music is the art of sound that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, and harmony.
Hip-Hop is composed of five essential elements: the emcee (rapper), the deejay (producer), the graffiti (art), the break-dancer (movement) and the knowledge (education).
Revolutionary hip-hop artist address serious issues pertaining to our planet and society. They try to speak to a large audience while inspiring and teaching the youth.
It is the youth that make up the main part of society who are listening to and buying hip-hop music.
Revolutionary hip-hop music is full of world views from the viewpoint of the oppressed and exploited African working-class.
The first political revolutionary hip-hop group was Public Enemy, which hit the airwaves in the ‘80s.
This was back when people walked down the street carrying a boom box playing everywhere.
Groups like Public Enemy, the Last Poets, X-Clan, and KRS-One began laying the framework for revolutionary hip-hop music.
In the ‘90s we had positive influences from groups like the Fugees, Wu-Tang and Digable Planets.
In 2012, the exposure of real revolutionary hip-hop has been kept out of the mainstream and hardly ever played on the radio.
The top three revolutionary hip-hop artists of 2012 are Lowkey, Dead Prez and The Coup.
Lowkey is an outstanding British musician who has done collaborations with Dead Prez. He is a humanitarian whom has also completed several missions of community service.
Lowkey is featured on several mix-tapes. The Soundtrack to the Struggle was the title of his latest album in October 2011. Since then, he has taken a hiatus from his music career to concentrate on his life studies.
Dead Prez is a hip-hop duo that is known for their confrontational style and militant lyrics.
DP’s debut album, Let’s Get Free, which opens with the song “Wolves” and has a clip of Chairman Omali Yeshitela’s speech on Black Power, was well-received by critics and hip-hop listeners.
Their new futuristic release, The Information Age, will be released online on October 16, 2012.
The Coup started off as an Oakland trio until 1998 when it became a duo with just an emcee and female Deejay, Boots Riley and DJ Pam the Funkstress.
Sorry to Bother You is the title of their new album, released on October 30, 2012. This album will double as the soundtrack to an independent film of the same title.
So maybe the revolution won’t be televised, played on the radio or even become a best-selling book, but the revolution will be heard by the eager ears of the African working class.
As long as there is a rebirth of revolutionary hip-hop artists, then the music can help bring about change!