Fabolous and Jadakiss released their joint album “Friday on Elm Street” last Friday (Nov. 24), mostly to positive reviews. The LP is certainly filled with lyrical gems, and most of the production has a heavy East Coast feel, with a little bit of Trap and other styles of music thrown in.
Songs like “F vs J Intro,” “Ground U” and “Soul Food” all hit extremely hard but on a song called “Talk About It” with Teyana Taylor, both rappers go the socially conscious route and deliver poignant, thought-provoking lines.
“Look, I know ya’ll tired of talking and going to demonstrations / But if we don’t speak up you help the discrimination / We need a one-on-one before it goes gun on gun / People skip the front page ‘til they see their son on one / And now it’s too late to talk, the topic has changed / They shooting at Black targets like these cops at a range,” rhymes Fabolous.
While Jada has touched on socially conscious issues before, like on his 2004 cut “Why,” some might be surprised that Fab has walked into that territory.
Here are some other artists who are considered “street rappers” but have released a tune that was seemingly meant to uplift.
When T.I. dropped his powerful cut “Warzone” off his 2016 “Us or Else” album, it wasn’t the first time he exchanged the fly talk for deeper words, but “Warzone” could be considered one of his best songs.
“Appointed leader when nobody couldn’t think of sh– / I’ll be a martyr if my great granddaughter benefit / They pull you over, ask you where your license at / Be careful reaching for it, you know you can die for that,” he raps.
The video for “Warzone” is solid as well, and in it T.I. asks the question what if white people had to endure the same injustices that Black folks do?
Related news: Gucci Mane
Gucci Mane, Common’s “Black America Again” Remix
The self-proclaimed Trap God Gucci Mane probably caught people off guard when he dropped socially conscious lyrics with Common on the remix to Com’s “Black America Again,” featuring Pusha T and BJ the Chicago Kid.
“Come look into the eyes of a man named Gucci / Got me peeping out the blinds like Malcolm with the Uzi / The government, the church and the world is so polluted / They calling me criminal when I’m a revolution / Woke up in a prison cell and I had a revelation / That my life’s a testimony, I could be an inspiration,” he spits.
The Game, “Let Me Know”
The Game, whose brand has been heavily associated with beef and gang affiliation, put out a stellar song with Jeremih called “Let Me Know,” about police brutality and some of the people who’ve been killed by law enforcement.
“”Where the body cams at when they killed Sandra Bland, though? / Where the justice system at when the cops go Rambo? / Black Lives Matter when we talking about Philando / But all lives matter when we talking about Orlando / 49 dead bodies, 83 in France, though / They say Alton had a gun, we ain’t see it in his hands, though,” Game raps.
Meek Mill, “Young Black America”
At times Meek Mill has moved away from the tough talk in his songs and tried to explain why he and many of his peers went down the wrong path. He did it on The-Dream assisted-tune “Young Black America,” off his latest album “Wins & Losses” and painted a very vivid picture.
“Yeah, I was on that corner trying to get my coins up / Coppers run up on us and we turn to Jackie Joyner / White man kill a Black man, they never support us / Black man kill a white man, they gon’ start a war up / Mama she was tore up, sipping on the Absolut / Young n—– brainwashed, they just wanna rap and hoop / Could’ve been a lawyer until they came and shackled you / Felons on your records so them jobs ain’t getting back at you,” Meek rhymes.