america hip hop


Waking up with a feeling of helplessness, I’ve needed something to make me feel that soldiering on will feel worthwhile, and I feel I’ve found my grail: Common’s Black America again. Since Wednesday morning, I haven’t been able to turn it off.

The politically charged record, released last Friday Nov. 4, tackles the very themes this election has served, in part, to decide our path forward: racial tension, police violence, the rewriting the history of black culture and people. Many in this country deliberately chose a path of hate and dehumanization, and the album acknowledges these people exist, perhaps to a greater extent than many liberal voters did. But it also charts a path forward. Black America will persist and thrive, the album insists, the way it has at so many crucial turning points in the past. No message seems more necessary to push forward in the shadow of the election 2016.

Common’s ‘Black America Again’ is exactly what we need to cope with the 2016 election


Born in Nigeria and raised in New Jersey, Modu was a young photographer whose parents had been part of the first wave of immigrants.

His photos have graced the covers of Rolling Stone Magazine and Jazz Times, Chi will also be remembered for shooting iconic album covers for Snoop Dogg, Method Man, Mobb Deep, Mad Lion, and Christian McBride. His work has appeared in numerous exhibitions, including the Hutchins Gallery, Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville NJ, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn NY, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland OH.

wait. A Nigerian took one of Nas’ and BIG’s most iconic photos ever?? Dope!

You don’t have to separate these things with Jefferson. He can have written this incredible document and several incredible documents that we all believe in – and he s-u-u-ucks. Those are both true and those have to be both true. I think we really have to stop separating them because that’s where you get into trouble. That’s where you stop letting people be whole people. I disagree politically with a lot of rappers that I listen to, you know what I’m saying? There’s, like, rampant misogyny and homophobia in a lot of rap music. That doesn’t make them less brilliant rappers – they’re both true.
—  Daveed Diggs, speaking truth about how we should perceive Thomas Jefferson and other historical figures as well as how we should perceive people today, in the unsurprisingly excellent Hamilton’s America documentary from PBS.