July 1, 2019

Conscious Rap: The Birth and the Backlash

by The Nod

Background show artwork for The Nod
The turbulence and violence of the late 1980s pushed hip-hop away from its party music roots, giving birth to a new subgenre: conscious rap. Groups like and Public Enemy and artists like KRS-One became stars, creating music that emphasized pro-Black political messaging. But just as conscious rap was reaching its height, one song threatened to bring the whole movement crashing down.