“My third eye is open because my focus is strong.” -M.I.A. [Go Off, 2016]
Intelligently sprinkled throughout the underground since vintage days are artists who reflect[ed] on cultural themes including space, divination, history and the astral plane. Even amidst the rise of “mumble rap” we hip-hop heads and rap kittens stay safe because of the thinkers, cultural-critics and passionately flowing poets. In a world emerging with more D.I.Y. productions you’ll come across deeper insights perpendicular to major label -produced studio tracks promoting hype. As they say, “don’t believe the hype”, rather, believe in thyself and support the people who reflect you. Check your subscriptions since we manifest what we listen to, over and over again. PS. These are all really good songs.
- “Ason, I keep planets in orbit While I be coming with deeper and more shit” [Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Brooklyn Zoo, 1995] & “Planets in orbit, line ’em up with the stars. Tarot cards, you can see the pharoh Nas.” [Nas – Nas Is Like, 1999] These are the anthems that will set any concert or record off. Alicia Keys sampled ODB in the “Girlfriend” -version of Brooklyn Zoo singing about jealousy. Nas (ex of Kelis) I have seen rock a crowd that extended miles upon miles in Finland. People were puff puff passing and there was barely any room to exit (not that anyone even wanted to).
- “So mister funkmaster, pump the bee gees. And all you college students, play your ouijas. Check the spelling: r-e-f-u-g-e-e, get the cd from sam goody, hee hee!” [Wyclef Jean – We Trying to Stay Alive, 1997] My Iranian-American Middle School crush introduced me to this album which is pure Hatian fire! Plus, the track has Lauryn Hill in the music video and Pras on the dance floor. It’s a must-see especially for the 70s funky disco Broadway musical -style choreography.
- “Yo, we flying through your neighborhood in hyperspeed. Astro travellin’ off that hydro weed.” [Quasimoto – Astro Travellin, 2000] The animated alter-ego of producer Madlib from Stones Throw Records shows consistent creativity and insightful stream-of-consciousness lyrics. Imagining the scenario from the set is a person in dream-state who leaves the physical body and travels on the “real time” plane of existence which includes actual cities and people you know. This is called keeping it real!
- “They were here before Adam, descendants of Anu. Took on mortal fashion, built themselves statues in the image of themselves to worship themselves, built towards of themselves to remind them of when they fell. They came from a station in space, an angelical race, giant in stature, helmets and capes. That they were, visiting the planet to explore, long journey from their own because their race had war. It’s said they called their planet Nibiru and that they were fallen heroes. They saw gold, saw trees and life more liberal.” The entire song by Killah Priest called “Winged People” is about the annunaki in his album “The Psychic World of Walter Reed”, talking about Earth history back a couple hundred thousand years. This is a super-unique storytelling track which teaches with a skillfully animated music video.
- “Will you be prepared when the Elohim return? What’s your main concern? It’s like people never learn. As the world burns, tell me will you stand firm? ” [Lost Children of Babylon – Will You Be Prepared, 2001] These lyrics may be an obvious reggae reference to “Babylon burning”, as in, the corrupt system [is] falling apart. People call this kind of rap conscious rap, an entire genre in itself that’s still underground and might stay there until the new system emerges with the youth of today.
- “Channeling the greatest […] I’m moving vertically, Will i miss the planet when i blast off? Certainly Don’t take it personally, Earthlings don’t understand […] Step into you’re spaceship Atmospheric hovering Wind-blown starseeds Black soil covering Germinating heavy-weights Deep space navigate Chant a song, elevate Cosmic sound uttering” [Sa-Roc – The Little Spaceship, 2010] Her album is called “Journey of the Starseed” where song titles include: The Merkaba, Dream Catcher, Starseed, Nebular Soldier, and The Force. Warrior spirit Sa-Roc, born Assata Perkins, has produced nine albums and several mixtapes, showing the most consistency in the cosmic arena. #Mindblown.
- “Furthermore, as determined by the collective consciousness of this state of being and the lessened distance between thought patterns and their secular manifestations, the role of men as listening receptacles is to be increased by a number no less than 70 percent of the current enlisted as vocal aggressors. Motherfuckers better realize, now is the time to self-actualize. We have found evidence that hip hops standard 85 rpm when increased by a number as least half the rate of it’s standard or decreased at ¾ of it’s speed may be a determining factor in heightening consciousness.” This DNA-unravelling poem has been performed solo-acapella and with background instruments. The lyrics offer solutions for cultural separation, lazy rappers and stiff intellectuals. It’s super special, too, when artists list “The Greats” in a song (kind of like when Le Tigre listed riotgrrrls in Hot Topic). I highly recommend this for brains. [Saul Williams – Coded Language]
Channel, Teacher, Artist