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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Songs with Serious Impact- probably a part 1

So there are some hip-hop songs that I just feel have a great cultural relevance beyond just being music. Now most of the time, they can tell a story, and while some are deeper than others, here are some that I feel should be iconic in some reason beyond that.

Will Smith - Just the Two of Us



I will always have this song on a list because in rap there aren't but two songs that I know of that are about a father talking to his son, and especially just about the feelings about having a child and those first few moments and days. Then this isn't about trying to make him street smart and tough but just some true to life conversation that no matter who you are you should be able to relate to in some way. It's a shame more of the men in the rap game have chosen to neglect this aspect of their lives.


Wale - Shades



This song was never made into an actual video but one of the songs on Wale's near-classic debut was Shades which chronicles the feelings of both Wale working to be accepted for having African parents and his skin color. This is an issue we know exists, hell my dude NC-17 posted about it on his blog: I Bet She Look Better Red . We never talk about these issues in hip-hop so it was very refreshing for a guy to express how he feels about the differences in the way we behave because of our skin tones and the direct effect on him and his life.


Nas - Daughters



This is a recent song and I have chronicled what I like about this before. Just the whole thing about his personal relationship with his daughter and how he sees that it has affected her through the years and the way she suddenly grows up and it's all in his face. It is just so important for men who have young daughters to hear and adjust their lifestyles before it's too late.


Lupe Fiasco - Bitch Bad



Now I just listened to this song and it is what inspired this post. I'm not the biggest Lupe fan though he makes some really good music at times. This is an example of what he does best. This is about how the music that is popular today affects our youth today when we are playing some of these songs around them, and not explaining them if we are going to do so. It also looks at the eventual disconnect between men and women and the video is pretty powerful as a visual on its own. Parents need to take a deep listen and try to take in what he's saying and maybe change up some of their habits.


Common - Retrospect For Life



Always one of the most powerful hip-hop compositions, Common tackles the subject of abortion and he really goes over all of the options and emotions that deals with making such a decision. He talks about the reasons on why he made the choice, and then talks about himself and going back into the same things that put him into the situation in the first place. There are few songs that cover any topic, never mind this one, anywhere near as solidly. Agreeing with it or not, it's all about the discussion with this one, not the result.


So this is a top five discussion of some of the more thought provoking songs that are out there. None have been smash hits but all deserve more than occasional play especially in todays climate. It shows rap music can be more than just bragging and popping bottles, it can educate, and these are all good solid songs musically as well as having a good message. What are some of the hip-hop songs that you think are important for their messages beyond the surface?

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