We dig back into 25+ years of political hip hop to bring you ten tracks that question America's authority on the eve of Donald Trump's inauguration.
Tomorrow, the least qualified, most bigoted, and most outwardly racist president in modern American history will be sworn in to office. What happens next? Words, usually my strong suit, fail me. Luckily, we have a rich history of horrible presidents pissing off great rappers (and vice versa) to fall back on in these uncertain times.
Hip hop grew up alongside Reaganism in the '80s, with its first great political track addressing the atrocious state of poor urban communities that were being ignored by the president unless he was policing them. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's "The Message" moved rap beyond its DJ-focused, party culture beginnings and into the realm of politics and social critiques via the MC. 35 years and many Chuck Ds, KRS-Ones, Ice Cubes, and Mos Defs later, hip hop has become a breeding ground for political thought, a valuable and productive outlet for the rage felt by millions of Americans.
In light of tomorrow's inauguration, we're focusing on the tracks directed at the powers that be, whether that's the military industrial complex, the PMRC, unjust leaders, or capitalist pigs. It's healthy to question authority, and these ten tracks from 1991 to the present day will get you in the mood to do so. Click through the gallery to listen.