For some crazy reason, I immediately started listening to this classic project after the election results became clearer. Maybe it was the fact that it reminds me of how the system can easily be hijacked by a tyrant backed by sinister politicians or maybe it was the fact that uninformed racist ideology was the deciding factor in the election. Or maybe it was the "coincidence" that Saturday Night Live featured Dave Chappelle and A Tribe Called Quest, which reminded me of how influential hip hop can be.
Dead Prez championed the street scholar, self educated, comfortably defiant, politically rebellious group from Florida (launched in Brooklyn) that shared their crystal clear vision on Let's Get Free. True to lyrical thesis of Hip Hop, the ideas on this project are almost more poignant on the tracks that didn't reach the level of celebration as the cultural phenomenon Hip Hop did. Check out the interview above and see how one project can focus on reality, reaching people, making music that reflects their lives, expresses anger, frustration, social issues, hustle, beauty and spirituality.
The lessons on this project are a big reason that hip hop was the educational balance I needed during college and grad school. Eating healthy, self defense, seldom told history of black people, pride, beauty, spirituality, creativity and revolution are so critical for young people today and that's the reason that this project is important for everyone to hear. If you don't have it or have only listened to Hip Hop and Mind Sex, make your way through the rest of the project. For about 20 years, popular music has distracted people from perspectives that can open up their consciousness to current and historic issues. This music can benefit people's lives and all I can do is thank artists like Dead Prez for their contributions to my life.