Tag Archives: black star

The Happenings: Talib Kweli and the Hip-Hop Defense of Palestine

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By: Daniel Hodgman

“Let’s get free just like the Palestinians!” –Black Star “RE: DEFinition (Live at Club Nokia 9/22/2012)”

Let’s Get Free Just Like the Palestinians

The quote above is a reworked bar from Black Star’s song “RE: DEFinition.” Playing to a packed Club Nokia in Los Angeles in September, 2012, Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey switched things up during their live set of the song and pronounced to the crowd, “Son we way past the minimum, entering millennium/ Let’s get free just like the Palestinians!” (The original line is: “raps will hold a gat to your back like Palestinians”). It was, in one swift and dominant showing, one of those “bigger than hip-hop” moments, and with two of the most conscious MCs out there in Talib and Bey—not to mention Beat Junkies creator and mastermind J Rocc behind the 1s and 2s that night—the message was clear that hip-hop was at the defense of Palestine.

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Album of the Week: “Black on Both Sides” by Yasiin Bey (FKA Mos Def)

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Yasiin Bey (fka Mos Def)
Black on Both Sides
Rawkus, 1999

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The Greatest Show of All Time: “The Wire” and Its Hip-Hop Roots

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By: Daniel Hodgman

The Wire is an American drama that ran from 2002 to 2008 on HBO. The series is set in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, and was created by David Simon, a former Baltimore police reporter. The show focuses on many aspects of Baltimore and the typical American city, and its reoccurring trait is that it focuses on institutions and the people that are committed to them. The Wire’s portrayal of America is not only a reflective piece of our country’s society, but also an in-depth connection to hip-hop, as it tackles the constraints on the lower class, oppression from outside forces, the fight against corruption and the withstanding notion of fighting for peace and change.

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