Listen if you W O K E (Part 1)

In an era of millennials that made being “woke”, connected and informed a thing, it’s only right that we give you a few rhymes and rhythms that come at you with socially- or politically-driven messages. The artists on this list mastered blending what’s trendy and hot in terms of catchy hooks, instrumentals/beats and metaphors with messages that go beyond your typical “rap” beef or money-themed concepts.

Below you’ll find our top 15 picks of “Woke” tracks and a brief description on what makes these socially- and politically-charged tracks masterpieces:

  1. Wu Tang Clan – Tearz (1993) 
    A song about Karma, stories of happiness followed by stories of sadness.
  2. Erykah Badu – On & On (1997) 
    Spiritual piece in which Badu believes humans are all made in God’s image.
  3. Common – Retrospect of Life ft. Lauryn Hill (1997) 
    A song reflecting on having a child when you’re both young adults.
  4. Tupac – Changes (1998) 
    Iconic rap song about the unfair treatment of Blacks in America and Tupac’s views about the World.
  5. Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing) (1998) 
    A track about not letting ‘that thing’ (religious beliefs, morals and materialistic things) be what exploits you as a man or woman.
  6. Nas – I Can (2002) 
    This song was meant as an inspirational piece for youth about believing in yourself.
  7. Immortal technique – 4th Branch/Peruvian Cocaine (2003) 
    Political, social and religious piece – touches on slavery, corporate America, human rights violations and more.
  8. Kanye West ft Syleena Johnson – All Falls Down (2004) 
    A track that examines self-consciousness in the Black community.
  9. J Cole – Lost Ones (2011) 
    A song that makes you question love, relationships and unplanned parenthood.
  10. Ab – Soul – Terrorist Threats ft. Jhene Aiko, Danny Brown (2012) 
    A track about the political system in America.
  11. J.Cole – Be Free (2014) 
    A tribute to Mike Brown and a song about the current slavery of Blacks in America.
  12. Alright – Kendrick Lamar (2015) 
    A song about hope using symbolism and poetry.
  13. Saint Pablo – Kanye West (2016) 
    This track addresses the thoughts and insecurities of Mr. West.
  14. Tribe Called Quest – Dis Generation / We The People (2016)  
    A track about racial and religious discrimination in America.
  15. Childish Gambino – Redbone (2016)
    Stay woke.

Stay tuned for part two of our ‘Listen if you W O K E ‘ list coming next week and let us know which track is your favourite in the comments below!

Make sure to follow VYB3 on Twitter and Instagram @__VYB3 and on Facebook @VYB3



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