cornel-west.jpgPrinceton University scholar, Dr. Cornel West, will release a hip-hop influenced album, Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations (Hidden Beach Forum), on June 19. According to, the LP features songs by Prince, Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, KRS-One, Killer Mike and others. “This isn’t commentary on hip-hop. And I’m not coming in as a hip-hop scholar or critic,” Dr. West tells “This is an attempt to go back to hip-hop’s prophetic roots, which are about truth-telling, exposing lies and having fun. It’s what I call a danceable education or a singing paideia, the Greek word for deep education.”

Among the topics on Never Forget are September 11th, racial profiling, the “N” word and the Bush administration. “This is a very political album that doesn’t pull any punches,” West tells “There are critiques of the Bush administration as well as of unaccountable corporate power, unaccountable police power and homophobia. We’re trying to get young people to wake up and recognize they’re part of the great tradition of struggle, to become organized and fight for freedom of justice.”

One artist Dr. West is very fond of, even though he is not featured on Never Forget, is Lupe Fiasco. “I’ve never met Lupe Fiasco, but I like that brother,” West tells “Oh, lord, he’s a free, young brother who honestly speaks his mind. That brother hits American terrorism, the American empire and still talks about his skateboard. I love that kind of freedom because, in the end, we’ve all go to be ourselves and that takes courage.”

The complete tracklisting for Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations is as follows.

"Bushanomics," featuring Talib Kweli
"America," featuring Black Thought, Rah Digga, Iriz & Lucky Witherspoon
"Still Here"
"Dear Mr. Man," featuring Prince
"N Word," featuring Tavis Smiley & Michael Eric Dyson
"Welcome to Chi," featuring Rhymefest, Neo-Abassy & Malik Yosef
"Mr. President," featuring KRS-One & M-1
"Keep It PI," featuring Killer Mike, Doey, Roc & Lucky Witherspoon
"Chronometrophobia," featuring Andre 3000
"Gonne Be Alright," featuring Dave Hollister & Chuckii Booker
"Matter Of," featuring Lenny Williams
"Soul Sista," featuring Daryl Moore
"The Man's Gonna Getcha," featuring Gerald Levert