As rap was redefined as a vehicle to deliver a message about guns, bling, bitches and ho's to the mainstream masses I virtually left it behind.
There's little within what it was doing that I personally felt had any real value.
This sexist celebration of accruing wealth wasn't the message that rap and hip hop had its roots in.
Well not for me anyway.
Give me the Last Poets, Gil Scott-Heron, Grandmaster Flash or Public Enemy and keep your Eminems, Tupacs, Biggie Smalls, Lil' Wayne and Big Sean as I have no real use for them
I still think this, but as with anything there are always many exceptions to the rule if you care to look for them and 'The World Is Watching' by Jasiri X is strong proof of this.
Nuanced, intelligent and relevant are just three words that readily spring to mind when I listen to him.
If you want an insight into what is going on in the US then it's Jasiri X that is dragging a light forth to shine on the ugly underbelly of a country that can often enough appear to be morally bankrupt due to the perception that the minority in power portray to the rest of the world.
The lyrics spat out here quite possibly aren't going to change any deeply held opinions of the US, but they do highlight rather effectively that as is the norm the political word doesn't express the wishes or opinions of the people.
By speaking out Jasiri X is connecting with what rap music is to me, and that's protest songs from the street.
The voice of the people expressing themselves.
We need this.
I guess that in short I could say that while the rap stars who are relaxing beside their pools in the hills of Hollywood may have the cash and the fame, it is Jasiri X that has integrity, and you can't buy that.
Thanks go out to Roscoe Vacant for turning me onto this.
You can get this album for free here.