Hip Hop Woke 2017

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Despite the sea of shallow rap waves that came and went during the year, 2017 also brought with it impactful Hip Hop music that broke through the lackluster and went on to combat the ugly and unjust. This began toward the end of 2016 when A Tribe Called Called Quest closed that year with a potent performance of “We The People” on SNL.

Below are a few reminders Insomniac Magazine spotlighted from the past year that display the power the genre can have when focused on purpose. Public Enemy’s Chuck D remains at the helm of the movement to tackle social disparity and injustice with the fury of music. His newest vehicle is Prophets of Rage. Here’s an entry from June:

“Unf**k The World”- Prophets Of Rage sound the alarm
It seems as though each day brings us alarming new signs that our leaders are failing to recognize major missteps of the past. Before our eyes, we’re seeing society quickly spiral into what’s seems like a free fall all too reminiscent of a grotesque time in history many thought was far behind us. Heroes of rebel music everywhere, Prophets Of Rage, arrive just in time with a sonic blast from their forth-coming self-titled full-length to help awake the masses and embolden a sense of solidarity among the woke. The Michael Moore directed “Unf**k The World” video is a rallying cry that encapsulates troubling optics from the insanity the world finds itself in. Tell your friends to stop sleeping. Prophets of Rage has sounded the alarm.

Joyner Lucas continues to rise in the ranks as a poignant voice for truth. Here’s an entry from just a few weeks ago on this talented emcee.

Joyner Lucas Says “I’m Not Racist” (Video)
Joyner Lucas is one of the last of a dying breed. What are we talking about? Pure, unadulterated lyricism. Not to mention the fact that he also delivers brilliantly creative visuals to accompany each show-stopping single. Here’s his latest sure to be classic, “I’m Not Racist.” Watch below!

It looks like Eminem will close out the year with multiple doses of woke music. As he readies the Hip Hop world for his upcoming “Revival” album, he unleashed another powerful track entitled “Untouchable.” The song tackles a tinderbox of topics, including race and police brutality, that persist to permeate society, politics and our daily lives.

The aforementioned were just a few out of several moments over the past twelve months where powerful Hip Hop broke through to tackle societal woes.  Here’s one more remarkable song we covered in 2017.

KXNG Crooked delivers a track from the perspective of Philando Castile on “I Can’t Breathe 2”

KXNG Crooked takes the perspective of slain Minnesota resident Philando Castile (who was senselessly murdered by police when reaching for his I.D. after being pulled over). You heard and WATCHED the aftermath. Now listen as KXNG Crooked BRILLIANTLY conveys our disgust and anger in his 4 minute masterpiece called “I Can’t Breathe 2.” The best Hip Hop is the kind that empowers and informs. KXNG Crooked’s track does that…and THEN SOME! That’s why he’s one of the greats! Stay woke.