Twenty ’90s Albums That Are Unapologetically Black
Chuck D, of the influential hip-hop group Public Enemy, famously once said that "rap is Black America's [CNN]." And since the beginning of hip-hop, rappers have been our street reporters detailing the trials and tribulations of people in the black community.
Influenced by Malcolm X and the teachings of the Five-Percent Nation, hip-hop in the 1990s saw a rise in conscious rap with MCs promoting black pride, unity, and empowerment in their music. While the term "woke" has now become a famous catchphrase in the hip-hop lexicon, these artists were socially conscious way before it became a trend.
Artists like Brand Nubian and Poor Righteous Teachers delivered spiritual enlightenment over sample-based hip-hop, while X-Clan, Arrested Development and Public Enemy presented socioeconomic conversations about the black struggle.
Also, artists like Goodie Mob, the Coup, and Black Star have delivered head-nodding grooves with their polemical lyrics that was soup for the soul. On the West Coast, legendary rappers like Ice Cube, Ras Kass, and Paris delivered lyrical hellfire to white America for their culpability in oppressing black people.
In celebration of '90s rap, The Boombox decided to take a trip down memory lane and select 20 albums from that era that were "woke" and promoted black excellence. Not only were these albums amazing, but they were also unapologetically black.