Celebrate Black History Month With These 20 Songs
“Freedom Rap” — Queen Latifah, Yo-Yo, Left Eye, MC Lyte, Patra, Nefertiti, Da 5 Footaz, Salt N Pepa And Meshell Ndegeocello
“My spiritual awareness leads me to believe / That you doubt in the sisters / That come with the peace we’ve been together / Since God created all of Thee/ African daughters celebration is in order / Pop the cork and give the champagne to the stork / That brought the Lyte to my momma in New York”
A hidden gem, “Freedom Rap” will forever be a treasure song belonging to the 1995 Panther film soundtrack. The song, which pays tribute to women of the past who played monumental roles in the empowerment of black women, features an all-star bevy of female MCs and singers.
“All Black Everything” — Lupe Fiasco
“Uh, and we ain’t get exploited / White man ain’t feared it so he did not destroy it / We ain’t work for free, see they had to employ it / Built it up together so we equally appointed / First 400 years, see we actually enjoyed it / Constitution written by W.E.B. DuBois / Were no reconstructions, civil war got avoided”
Lupe Fiasco, who is infamous for his lyrical aptitude in the subjects of politics and social injustice, explores what may have happened if Black people were never enslaved and if racism never existed. “All Black Everything” lives on Lupe’s third studio album, Lasers.
“Sucka Ni**a” — A Tribe Called Quest
“See, nigga was first used back in the Deep South / Falling out between the dome of the white man’s mouth/ It means that we will never grow / you know the word dummy / Upper niggas in the community thinks it’s crummy / But I don’t, neither does the youth ‘cause we em / Brace adversity, it goes right with the race”
Off of Tribe’s third studio album, Midnight Marauders, “Sucka Nigga” reflects the paradigms on the usage of the N-word.
“I’m Black” — Styles P featuring Marsha Ambrosius Of Floetry
“(I’m black) And I’mma hold my right fist real high / Might see my man and we might get real high / (I’m black) And I know it, and I ain’t afraid to show it / (I’m black) And I’m a genius and a muthafuckin’ poet / You know it”
Before Kanye ever had the audacity to call himself a genius, Styles P was brazen enough to dub himself as on in “I’m Black.” The song is straightforward and catchy, with smooth couplets wedged between the recurring motif.
“My President” — Young Jeezy featuring Nas
“Obama for mankind / We ready for some damn change so y’all let the man shine / Stuntin’ on Martin Luther, feeling just like a King / Guess this is what he meant when he said that he ‘had a dream'”
A pro-Obama anthem, if only for a brief moment. “My President” was recorded circa the day Barack Obama secured the Democratic nomination for presidency.