Saturday, 9 August 2014

Track Of The Day: Chuck D ft. Mavis Staples - 'Give We The Pride'

For nearly 30 years, the legendary figure of Chuck D has been one of the most inspirational figures both in and outside of the hip hop genre. Over those decades he has constantly challenged the tactics of the media, so if anyone's going to have a say about the current state of mainstream rap music, then who better than one of hip hop's greatest pioneers? 
Back in June, Chuck spoke to Billboard magazine and announced that "My goal by year’s end is to change the face and sound of urban radio… I’ve been in this shit 30 years, too long to just sit and let it be. I’m not going to be the grim reaper. I don’t want to be the grim reaper. But people have to stand up and we need some change, and it’s time.”

His killer new track 'Give We The Pride' features the distinctively passionate vocals of soul legend Mavis Staples, an appearance that provides a link another generation of the Civil Rights movement, and reminding us what "Black power" should be about. Here, the Public Enemy icon puts the boot into the laughable rap culture of today, and those responsible for the genre's sorry status as an overly commercialised shadow of its former self. We live in a world where hip hop is defined by uninspired, irrelevant excuses for songs which boast about material wealth, disrespect women as nothing more than cheap sexual objects and seem to be interested in nothing else except "pimpin' it up" in the fame game. The genre and the urban culture associated with it has been hijacked by mostly white acts and the corporate puppetmasters who splash out the money to have their material overpromoted to the mainstream public. The most popular name in the genre is Dr Dre, a man who hasn't made an album for 13 years because he's too busy raking in the cash from his business projects. Says it all really.

So understandably, Chuck D isn't too happy about these people dragging down the genre that he helped to shape: "I be seeing old folks applaud nonsense that we cannot afford, flashback now ruining some box with sex and teen pop people’s hip-hop stop..." he blasts, challenging hip hop artists to be more imaginative and up their game. 'Give We The Truth' is lifted from his brand new solo album 'The Black In Man', which also features a version of the James Brown classic 'Say It Loud (I'm Black And Proud)', and is available to buy now. 

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