Black History Raps
Rap songs about black history may seem to be a thing of the past, a relic of the genre's 1980s-'90s Golden Age. But check the track listing before you dismiss this as another boring old-school playlist. There are newish tracks by Nas ("I Can," of course), Common ("A Song for Assata [Shakur]") and Big K.R.I.T. (who imagines himself as a runaway slave in the B.B. King-assisted "Praying Man"). There are songs about recent historical events like Hurricane Katrina (Lil Wayne and Robin Thicke's "Tie My Hands") and President Obama's election (Young Jeezy and Nas' "My President Is Black"). Classic joints from the Teacha (Boogie Down Productions' "You Must Learn"), Gang Starr ("Jazz Thing") and Big Daddy Kane ("Word to the Mother [Land]") round out this survey of knowledge-filled hip-hop.