The "Most Popular" category usually takes the number one spot, but this week we received a track so lyrically potent that it has to be mentioned first. The "Best Lyricism" category is the highest praise we can give, and R.A. The Rugged Man's latest single 'Learn Truth' deserves nothing less.
Teaming up with former Rawkus Records labelmate Talib Kweli for the first time, the two veteran emcees absolutely slaughtered the delicate, piano-driven instrumental. The track is a brutally unforgiving history lesson that catalogues some of humanity's most devastating mistakes and conflicts throughout the past half-century. By bringing it all up in this way, they're asking that we either learn or accept the truth about our world, and try not to repeat ourselves.
There's much more to hip hop than the club-oriented music that's so widespread right now. It can be used to raise awareness and affect social change, and this is a perfect example.
[Verse 2: RA The Rugged Man]
From Genghis Khan to Vietnam I can smell the napalm
Rape victims, ripped stockings
Redneck clan members doing church bombings
Innocent foetus' being aborted with no options
Human governments ruin 'em
Worrying what weapons could be used to be nukin' 'em
Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem
Slaves treated like property, to Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima to Nagasaki
Adolf Hitler, to every murderous Nazi
To the Gambinos, to the Gottis, to every mafia atrocity
Child pornography, babies starving and dying in poverty
Serbians fighting Croatians in Yugoslavia
Muslim women being raped, up to 40,000 in the war in Bosnia
The 50 million killed in the second World War
The government's poisoning the minds and the bodies
of the babies that are born poor
Airplanes blown up by Islamic extremists
In religion there's always drama
Whether worshipping the profit Mohammed or Jesus
More pox than Napoleon's troops dying from typhus
From the Spanish flu to the black plague to the AIDS virus
Bodies in coffins, political extortions
Racist mobs murdering, Willie Turks, Michael Griffith and Usha Forkins
Check the murder rate, is it human nature to murder and hate?
The Catholic church claimed women were witches
and burned 'em at the stake
Pedophile predators attack
And .38 Berettas used by Ghandi's assassin
16 bullets in Malcolm, It happened uptown Manhattan
And the homicide, Reagan, '80s epidemic of crack
And soldiers in action dying in Iraq and never coming back
We recommend you check out R.A.'s upcoming Legends Never Die album, which drops in a month's time.
Click the badge below to read Talib's verse: