5 Videos that Remind us Hip Hop is Not Dead #3 Public Enemy to Boots to Rocky Rivera

Public Enemy was probably the one of the first to start releasing material including videos on-line. It’s good to see they’re still at with their un-compromised militant flava. One thing I like about this group is they see the world as their stage. So even if you don’t see or hear PE on BET or your local Hot, Power or Jammin’ type station, they pull huge crowds overseas. In fact as we speak they’re on the road over in Europe. They will no doubt be on hand for the strikes in France.. Salute to PE who paved the road for many and still continue to kick down doors.


Boots Riley of the Coup

Since we’re in the vain of politics, peep this next video from Boots Riley of the Coup and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine. Together they are known as Street Sweeper Social Club and the name of the song is Paper Planes which was most recently done by M.I.A. and before that the Clash. In this version Boots gives an insightful breakdown on class warfare. As a rapper he’s pushing music bounderies and expectations by ‘rocking out’ so to speak. It’s wrong to put Hip Hop in this limited box when there are so many ways it can go. You can catch other joints off the Ghettoblaster EP


Canary Sing is duo out of Seattle who I first came across a few years back at a sold out All Female Showcase in Seattle where they were  blowing up the spot. Madeleine “Lioness” Clifford and Hollis “Ispire” Wong-Wear are incredibly talented who can do it all, spoken word, spit nice flows and sing. Check out their mix tape Boss Ladies and their newly released EP Beautiful Babies which can be heard on their myspace page.  Cuts like My Style, Prove it and the remake of dead prez‘s Mind Sex show their skillz.  This video Freakshow is nice.. I wish they had more because you can see that they fill big void in terms of going beyond the simple and predictable.


Baltimore’s Labtekwon has long been pushing the envelope and a fixture in Charm City. I think he’s must’ve put out at least 20 albums. His latest project Next: Baltimore Basquiat and the Future Shock is filled with songs that boldly defy the corporate rap culture narrative hawked by big business outlets. In short you will not be dumbed down by this cat. What I like about Lab is that he’s independent and has long supported his craft by releasing slew of videos that match the creativity of his songs. Cuts like GoddessExternal Struggle and Blackskate Punk are all worth peeping.

What I like about the song we featured ‘Your World‘ is the big band/jazz flavored music and scat like rap cadence. Lab is a vicious emcee who is comfortable playing around with different styles  and approaches as he does here on this song. I also like the fact that he mixed animation with real life shots. He reminds us that Hip Hop is high art that should challenge and liberate at all times.


Rocky Rivera aka EyeaSage has been doing her thing in the Bay Area for a while. Many folks know here as a journalist as well as dope emcee. This video ‘Trick Habit’ off her self titled album is a artistic throw back to the 50s via Leave to Beaver days.. The twist here is she and her crew address the issue of cheating, unappreciative lovers. It’s a fun video that doesn’t take itself all serious, thus reminding us that Hip Hop has many avenues for us to explore and should be fun.


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