Exam season is here and this is the time where music is the most important. Listening to good lyrics just makes me feel smarter than the stuff on the radio.
1. Dilated Peoples- Proper Propaganda
“Glory, The pen is mightier than the sword
‘Cause the pen gives the word sending swords to war”
This is by far the sickest quote in the whole track. “The pen is mightier than the sword” was coined by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 for his play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy. Words are so powerful and this is why I love real hip hop because every song conveys a message with words that could influence so many people. Dilated peoples talks about the corrupted system of politics and war and also touches on the unfair justice system. I especially like his reference to Mumia Abu-Jamal’s trial in the lines:
“Yo, questions when answered leads to more questions
Why’d it take months to remember a confession?
The principles are the same even without the name
But I still say M-you-M-I-A”
If you haven’t heard of the trial basically Abu-Jamal was originally sentenced to death in 1982. His murder conviction was upheld through years of appeals. But in 2008, a federal appeals court ordered a new sentencing hearing on the grounds that the instructions given to the jury were potentially misleading. His case is one of huge controversy and you should look into it if you are interested in the corruption of the justice system.
2. Blazo- Dock Ellis Remix feat. The 49ers
I heard this song through a friend that posted it on facebook. I instantly loved the calm violin melody and the chorus:
“CDs are my codeine, MP3s are my morphine,
the black vinyl’s like nicotine, yeah, I’m addicted to this music,
and if I can’t get it now I might lose it”
The song has a Nujabes feel to it and is perfect for studying.
3. Atmosphere- God Loves Ugly
In this song Slug talks about his life in this song and how his unique persona has helped him succeed in the rap game. Slug is embracing all his flaws, saying God accepts him for who he is. People nowadays are scared to stray from the norm. Like Slug explains, being unique doesn’t make you weird. Normal people just live in this world, unique people change it.
4. Jurassic 5- Concrete Schoolyard
This song is a classic from Jurassic 5’s debut album. I love how everyone in Jurassic 5 has such a unique tone of voice that compliments each other perfectly. The way they deliver their lyrics is also very different as they take turns saying a few lines of each verse. No mentioning of money, drugs or women. Just straight hip hop. If you like this song check out Thin Line and High Fidelity and What’s Golden also by Jurassic 5.
5. Flipsyde- Happy Birthday
This song has blown up since I first discovered it. Right now it has over 5 million views on the main video on youtube. The message behind this song is very deep, written for an aborted baby and what he could have been. It is an apology for making a mistake. Just listen to the words and you can feel the sincerity behind the lyrics.