observations, reviews and ramblings about Hip-Hop culture, sports, politics and the industry and life in general.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

But she pulled on the plastic and I just couldn't stop her

Went to WBAI’s ‘Underground Railroad’ last Saturday night with Alma to promote the good Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. Not only is it a pleasure to hang out with Monk, J, and 3D but Lord Jamar from Brand Nu came down as well.

While we were talking to Lord J it occurred to me how truly important Brand Nubian was to not only Hip-Hop, but to the urban blight of the 90’s. Put simply Brand Nubian helped stop the plague of crack cocaine. Sadat’s verse on ‘Slow Down’ was the first time that Hip-Hop had a hit record ridiculing crack heads. It sounds simple, but as a cultural statement it was extremely powerful.

Teachers, Nancy Reagan, and parents had preached against the evils of drugs but Brand Nubian made it cool to be straight. They weren’t finger waving adults; they were your older, cooler peers. And they weren’t saints. They were just as imperfect as we were.

Now some may think this last point is a bit of an exaggeration but what Brand Nubian, KRS, Public Enemy did to pull (parts of) my community out of the post Reagan darkness is akin to ending the black plague in the mid 1300’s. Left unchecked it is scary to think what the crack epidemic would have done to urban communities. Look at what it is still doing. From an academic standpoint one can point to several verses songs and albums and trace the end of epidemic (but unfortunately not the disease).

Listening to Jamar speak to Phonte during the interview then rehashing the interview with Alma on the way back to Brooklyn the legacy of Brand Nubian hit me like a Mack truck.

I can’t wait for Saturday. See you all then.

1 Comments:

Blogger ian said...

> Sadat’s verse on ‘Slow Down’ was the first time that Hip-Hop had a hit record ridiculing crack heads... what Brand Nubian, KRS, Public Enemy did to pull (parts of) my community out of the post Reagan darkness is akin to ending the black plague in the mid 1300’s.

What about PE's Night of the Living Baseheads or De La Soul's My Brother's a Basehead?

June 14, 2005 10:52 AM

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home