Now What
Now What
Jul 19, 2020
20 Conscious Rap & Hip-Hop
Play • 31 min

Host: Diane Gil

Special Guest: Antonio Moore, Lamon Gorman, Franschesca Benzant

Episode Introduction:

In today’s episode of the Now What podcast, Diane and her guests talk about Conscious Rap & Hip Hop as they travel back to the year 2000, and its relevance in the present year 2020. 

Episode Summary:

The theme is this episode revolves around two songs: They Schools (2000) and Jesus Walks (2004). Various lyrics are discussed and their importance then and now 

Key Themes: They Schools by Dead Prez

  • This song is the first time that the issue of racism was outlined in mainstream hip hop.

  • Children of color face discrimination in public schools and tend to think less of themselves by not to respect their own heritage because of this.

  • This song changes the traditional ideas of what terms like ‘education’ and ‘success’ mean. The lyrics also explain the types of history being taught to black students in the public school system.

  • Dead Prez talks about how real life skills are not taught in the educational setting.

  • The complete spectrum of opportunities is not provided to children of colors and they’re only prepared for menial jobs.

  • If you don’t agree with what They Schools had to say, they label you as ‘dumb’ and outcast you.

Key Themes: Jesus Walks by Kanye West

  • This song talks about relinquishing all control to Jesus.

  • The song emphasises on the challenges faced in Chicago.

  • The lyrics of the song say that one doesn’t need to be Christian in order for Jesus to walk with them.

  • The song broke a lot of barriers in terms of what was considered “acceptable”.

  • This song talks about the themes of terrorism and racism.

  • In a lot of ways, it can be seen that the song is still relevant to the current times.

  • Kanye West comes off as being vulnerable and highlights the importance of black mental health. 

Notable Facts & Statistics:

  • Ever since the time of slavery, people have used music as a medium of conveying their emotions. Back in the time, slaves used to sing hymns of freedom.

  • Black students represent 31% of the school arrests in America.

  • Black students are expelled or suspended 3x times more than their white counterparts. 

  • Black students face the  consequences of zero tolerance policy unproportionately more than their white counterparts.

  • RBG is a prevalent theme in Dead Prez Music but it also stands for ‘Revolutionary but Gangsta’.

  • RBG is also traced back and deeply rooted in the pan-Africanism movement.


Listen to They Schools by Dead Prez:

Listen to Jesus Walks by Kanye West:

Listen to other episodes: https:// us/podcast/now-what/ id1439125172 

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Instagram/Twitter: @dianegil_cwc 

Join us at:

YouTube: Cultivate With Courage

This episode was executive produced by: LG Media

Episode show notes by: Tanishka Kherajani

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