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February is African American Heritage Month and WERS AT NIGHT is honoring one artist or one song every day this month that helped contribute to social consciousness, political responsibility, or civil rights. At WERS, we believe that these songs are always bigger than just entertainment; music can be used to drive a movement or even motivate a nation.
Let’s Get Free is the first studio album by the famous hip-hop duo Dead Prez. Formed in 1996 in New York City, Dead Prez is made up of rappers stic.man and M-1. The duo made a stance that their group lies in a mixture in between Public Enemy and N.W.A in that much of their music is political and there lyrics focus on activism, revolution, racism, socialism and pan Africanism.
The critically acclaimed album Let’s Get Free introduces radical lyrics that call attention to many social issues facing African Americans, activism against governmental repression, corporate control over media and other political topics. A song title Propaganda on Let’s Get Free is a hard hitting track featuring vocals by Becca’s Smoke and Candy Store as well as ending vocals in a news snippet from Huey Newton.
The song starts off with samples from various news snippets that include “fbi scientists have found chemical traces, consistent with a bomb or a missile, on a piece of wreckage…” and “police using clubs and tear gas against demonstrators.” They are using these to show the current condition of our world ultimately showing everything wrong with it and to expose the lies. The hook of the song discusses how the media is telling lies to our children and that this song is meant to expose the lies.
During the song they continue to expose the lies of the government, however at the end the news snippet Huey P. Newton discusses the oppression of black people and generally oppresses people all over the world and how an effective change needs to be made.