The Best You Never Heard (Sep 20)

“This is anti autotune / death of the ringtone / This ain’t for iTunes / this ain’t for sing alongs” What we’re listening to this week…


“Tell me how could you take my smile away from me / you said you loved me / but you lied, you lied, you lied”

We heard Mother Amerikkka two months ago while mourning of the lives of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, which were ended by government law enforcement officers in July 2016. We waited to include this song in a BYNH post, sensing/knowing that it wouldn’t be long before the lyrics of Cali emcee Fashawn would be needed again. And here we are…60 days later…mourning the life of another American citizen of Black skin/African descent whose life was unjustly terminated by an officer of the government.


“Pain will you better / tell me how you feel / look over your shoulder / Time will make it real”

Finding light in the darkness. In the midst of a hot summer filled with enough tragedy and trauma to depress even the most optimistic among us, the ultralight beam that has been 2016 hip-hop continued to bring light to us all. This summer saw the long-awaited release of the new album and the Anonymous Nobody by the legendary trio known as De La Soul. For the younger heads who may not understand, we recommend you first watch the excellent mini-documentary We’re Still Here (Now) that shows the evolution of this crowd-funded, independently produced album. Then get right into the album’s lead single, Pain (feat. Snoop Dogg).


There’s a time and place for mumble rap. There’s a time and place for turn-up rap. But the struggle is real and sometimes, you just need to sit down and figure some stuff out. This week we like Everything in Between from Ugly Heroes, the Chicago & Detroit three-headed rap monster of Red Pill, Verbal Kent, and Apollo Brown. This is real rap for real life.


Between the recent terrorist attacks in New York City and Minnesota, the presidential debate, and the parade of dead Black Americans whose cause of death was another American hired to protect and serve them…there is a lot to say. But we’re always grateful when we can turn the voices down and just let the beat ride out. We finish this week’s selections with Out At Nightone of the standout tracks from The Odd Tape, the latest album from DMV producer/rapper virtuoso Oddisee.

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