Few months ago, I decided to share my passion of Hip-Hop with you. I stopped quite quickly (this life and its hurdles) but now I AM BACK. The story will be told and ended.
It is a great opportunity for me, to share my love for this exceptional rhythm, for what I consider as a movement, not just music. Hip-Hop has been a healer and I have often made choices which did not seem obvious for my age and environment.
After sharing, my chapter 1 (Hip-Hop, My Oldies), I will present some incredible guys, not so old, not so young but without any doubt, part of the essence of hip-hop from my point of view. Welcome to Common, Talib Kweli and NAS.
Mr. Common, what to say about him: handsome, inspired, engaged, up to new experiences, actor. In short, a genius. From a hip-hop perspective, he is one of those which for me, kept the original line. He uses hip-hop to portray his vision of the American society. In, this society black people still fight to have a real voice. He talks about violence, change and love!
First heard him quite by luck (as in most of my hip-hop stories), through a cousin, fan of perfect music. I listened to some of his old songs, got energized by some of them such as « Love of My Life » with the one and only Eryka Badu. I deeply appreciated some of his last albums « Be » and its incredible song « Testify », « Universal Mind Control » and « Finding Forever« . More importantly, I was blessed with the opportunity to attend one of his concert and I testify his flow is dope. On top of this, he is an activist, standing for his convictions and this commercial world, this is more than inspiring.
Welcome to Talib Kweli
Talib Kweli is made in the same wood than Common. Talented, engaged, music for him is not about making the maximum money but about being a voice in his community. His albums on top of being of great rhythm, are always a source of much learning.
I generally associate him with another exceptional artist Mos Def, with whom he started. Still, I connect more to Talib as he published more recently. I have not listened to all his albums but the one I fully listened too, remains one of my favorite rap album. It was released in 2007, produced by Kanye West (my other love), Just Blaze and Mr. Will.I.Am.
The album is called « Ear Drum » and though all songs are magic, I will especially recommend « Hostile Gospel Pt. 1 (Deliver Us) », « Eat To Live » and « Hell ».
NAS is a prince
Last, but not the least in this list of favorite artists, welcome to Mr. Nasir Jones, A.K.A. NAS. I would say he is more known for his few years battle with Mr. Jay-Z, before he finally joined his record label Def Jam. But more importantly, NAS is known for his talent. While writing this post, I discovered that he has some Nigerian origins (Nigeria could have been my other country), making me even more proud as he is without any doubt an African native.
As an artist, he has in common with Common and Talib, the choice of engagement done through his music. All his albums, cannot be considered as engaged but the most successful ones, clearly had that association. He is an influential artist but still remains a true artist. I have sadly not listened to all his albums but I am pleased to have two of the very good ones. Those are « God’s Son » (2002) and « Hip-Hop is Dead » (2006) namely produced by my lovely Kanye. In the first album, I will recommend « Warrior » ft Alicia Keys or « Made U Look » and in the second one, namely « Black Republican » ft Jay-Z.
Take time to discover each of them, you will have fun.
Anna KEDI SIADE ♦