Consciously Urban

Posted by Mack of Sound-Savvy On 11:17 AM

We all know the urban music scene has a tendency to focus on matters that are more superficial – bling, broads, cars and clothes. However, some artists have used their star power and status to speak up and address issues facing our world by providing knowledge to the uninformed, and a voice to the unheard. At Sound-Savvy we realize there are lots of politically and socially conscious artists and songs, but I chose to highlight just a few, for various reasons. Check out our 5 picks that made the list for this week, then leave comments and add your own.

Artist: Lupe Fiasco
Song: Little Weapon
Album: The Cool

A hot song by one of the hottest and widely overlooked artists currently on the rap scene. Little Weapon discusses the influence of video games on the minds of young people. The song presents an important factor: the fact that hip-hop music is not as large of a contributor to youth violence and destruction. The message is clear: kids who have not developed the maturity level to differentiate real from fantasy should probably find better hobbies than the Grand Theft Auto series. I recommend listening to these other songs by Lupe: American Terrorist, Streets On Fire, and Dumb It Down.

Artist: Jadakiss ft. Anthony Hamilton
Song: Why
Album: Kiss of Death

This song brought light to a lot of issues facing the world, especially the black community and simply challenged listeners to question… Why? Released in an election year, this song discussed Jada’s beliefs on 9/11, drugs in the community and problems in the music industry.

Artist: Lyfe Jennings
Song: You Think You’ve Got It Bad
Album: Lyfe Change

From day one, Lyfe has set himself apart from the mainstream urban community by being conscious of many major issues. You Think You’ve Got It Bad which features Wyclef Jean, stretches beyond the borders of our communities as well as beyond our national borders and discusses global issues. Lyfe and Wyclef weigh in on the poverty epidemic, AIDS, homelessness and the failing economy. For more from Lyfe, I recommend: It’s Real, and S.E.X.

Artist: TLC
Song: Waterfalls
Album: CrazySexyCool

A lot of people didn’t realize just how big this record really was. Not only did it bring light to a few social issues, the song actually hit home with a lot of listeners. To take it a step further the accompanying video clip struck a deep chord throughout the hip-hop and urban music community. Gang violence, and HIV AIDS are the main themes of this powerful song.

Artist: Kanye West
Song: Diamonds from Sierra Leone
Album: Late Registration

Finally, Mr. Ego himself. Placing himself to the side for a moment, West drew the ears of the nation when he brought to light the plight of West African children who work in the diamond mines to extract conflict diamonds and die in civil wars financed by those precious jewels. With vocals from the Dame Shirley Bassey, he added a serious tone to the black and white video clip and even contributed to a documentary which highlighted the seriousness of this issue.

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