The year was 1989. The Jungle Brothers, Queen Latifah, Lakim Shabazz, Public Enemy and Big Daddy Kane had already peaked my interest in regards to Afrocentrism. However, BDP dropped an album entitled, Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip Hop, which opened my eyes and mind even more. It boasted joints like the classic Jack of Spades (also featured on the I'm Gonna Git You Sucka soundtrack), Breath Control, World Peace and Why Is That? Being a lover of history, particularly black history, there was one song that moved me like no other... "You Must Learn".
It was a who's who of Black History that was not taught in school. Hearing BDP's "You Must Learn" (then seeing the video) gave me the thirst of wanting to learn more and more..... and more. A thirst that I still have over 30 years later. It's a sad state in hip hop music that we no longer have the plethora of artists that provide an abundance of conscious lyrics such as Brand Nubian, X-Clan, YZ, Poor Righetous Teachers, A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots, De La Soul, Dead Prez, IsIs, Gang Starr, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Nas, Common, Immortal Technique and many more. Today, there are a few out there, but you have to search far and wide to find them. There are no longer the mainstream platforms like MTV's Yo! MTV Raps, BET's Rap City or the street mixtapes from the likes of Kid Capri, Doo Wop, Tony Touch or myself who would "break" artists who had little to no popularity. Keeping rocking and sharing artists with lyricism, meaningful content, consciousness and creativity.
- Written By Donni-Oh!