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5 Conscious Rappers Who Combat Negative Images












The reason that Tupac Amaru Shakur is considered the greatest rapper of all time by many hip hop heads is not because he was the most awe-inspiring wordsmith or could torpedo phat phrases out of his mouth with machine-gun quickness, ala Twista or Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.

 It’s because he was a word warrior wrapped in radicalism and hard street life. He was a force of nature in the studio. He was the quintessential black man whose potent poems took you on a corkscrew rollercoaster ride of emotions, and he was peerless with his range in that he could bust a prose that encompassed the entire spectrum of experiences of black America – sometimes all in one song [“That’s the Way it Is]. It helped that he is the product of black revolutionary royalty – his mother was a Black Panther and Assata Shakur sought political asylum in Cuba – and many of his moving messages seemed like they were extracted from the pages of Sixties literature. He was the most extreme version of a funnel of contradictions that resides in all of us – diametrically opposing forces that pull us in different directions. Just listening to the opening booming bass beats of “So Many Tears” is a straight mood jolter for me.

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