Black hero of the day: DJ Kool Herc

By: Akim Hudson 

Black History Month has been revered as a month long emblazon for the black masses. Although it is the shortest month of the year, everyday we celebrate, reflect, and express gratitude for the royalty that we are predecessors of. Within this month, I will fulfill the obligation of educating St. Bonaventure on the legendary black revolutionaries that isn’t  taught in the United States’ “education” system. Peace, God, I hope you enjoy your 29 days of enlightenment, beloved.

“I said a hip hop the hippie the hippie To the hip hip hop and you don’t stop The rock it to the bang bang boogie Say up jump the boogie to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat”, classic, historical, and iconic hook by Wonder Mike of the Sugarhill Gang. Hip-Hop, more than music, it is the culture. The concept of hip-hop music has been around approximately forty three years, and has yet to decelerate. The current state of hip-hop has fallen off in the facet of quality, but has reached its zenith as far as popularity goes. Hip-hop is the most popular genre in music, and the man who is credited for creating it, DJ Kool Herc. DJ Kool Herc is a Jamaican-American man who created hip-hop in the South Bronx, NY. The first to create “the break” on a turntable that rocked block parties for b-boys to dance to. Soon, other DJs would learn to scratch, mix, and sample like Herc. Without Herc, we wouldn’t have been blessed with all the culture that hip-hip has brought to the United States and the world (and sense I’m Jamaican, this makes this article that much sweeter).

Black hero of the day: Huey P. Newton

By: Akim Hudson

Black History Month has been revered as a month long emblazon for the black masses. Although it is the shortest month of the year, everyday we celebrate, reflect, and express gratitude for the royalty that we are predecessors of. Within this month, I will fulfill the obligation of educating St. Bonaventure on the legendary black revolutionaries that isn’t  taught in the United States’ “education” system. Peace, God, I hope you enjoy your 29 days of enlightenment, beloved.

After Malcolm X and Dr. King were both murdered, the black community’s patience and tranquility had exceeded its limits. There was a need for something or someone that the black community could turn to, and The Black Panthers rose to the occasion. Huey P. Newton was the co-creator of this coalition, along with Bobby Seale. While at college, the two met each other and formed the panthers to combat the police brutality and racial discrimination that was prominent in Oakland, California. By the late 60’s, The Black Panther Party rose to its utmost prominence. Gaining affiliation from Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, Angela Davis, Bobby Seale, Fred Hampton, Assata Shakur, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Pete O’Neal, and many others. Together they created a wave of black existentialism and reform. Newton was quite the samaritan, providing the black community in Oakland with food, and other necessities.

Newton has had many run-ins with the law, none more important than his incarceration in 1967 for an alleged murder of an Oakland police officer. While serving his voluntary manslaughter charge, “Free Huey” became a popular chant and the many rallies along with the chant heavily influenced his early release in 1970. After being charged for murder in 1974, Newton fled to Cuba. Ultimately I believe the federal government played a role in his demise, but Newton suffered from alcoholism, drug addiction, and poverty before his death in 1989. The feds attempted to paint a bad image of Newton, but in the black community, he will always be a hero and a revolutionary. Peace and prosperity, beloved.

Black hero of the day: Patricia Hill-Collins

By: Akim Hudson

Black History Month has been revered as a month long emblazon for the black masses. Although it is the shortest month of the year, everyday we celebrate, reflect, and express gratitude for the royalty that we are predecessors of. Within this month, I will fulfill the obligation of educating St. Bonaventure on the legendary black revolutionaries that isn’t  taught in the United States’ “education” system. Peace, God, I hope you enjoy your 29 days of enlightenment, beloved.

Influenced by the great black feminist before her such as Alice Walker, Angela Davis, and Audre Lorde; Collins specializes in inequities of race, class, and gender. Currently a professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Collins served as the 100th President of the American Sociological Association in 2009. She broke out with her monumental article, “Learning from the Outsider Within” in 1989, and Hill-Collins would continue to captivate the minds with her book Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. With an array of books that exhibit the inequity of black women in the United States, Hill-Collins garnered her success. As always, I am grateful to have to opportunity to educate others about these great black revolutionaries. Peace and prosperity, beloved.

Black hero of the day: Dr. Cornel West

By: Akim Hudson

Black History Month has been revered as a month long emblazon for the black masses. Although it is the shortest month of the year, everyday we celebrate, reflect, and express gratitude for the royalty that we are predecessors of. Within this month, I will fulfill the obligation of educating St. Bonaventure on the legendary black revolutionaries that isn’t  taught in the United States’ “education” system. Peace, God, I hope you enjoy your 29 days of enlightenment, beloved.

Perhaps the most modern hero of my series thus far. Dr. Cornel West is an American philosopher who emphasized race, socioeconomics, and gender in the United States. Dr. West has garnered merit from two of the most prestigious universities in the United States, earning his undergraduate in Philosophy from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from Princeton. Of his many books, his most popular book Race Matters was published in 1993. The classic stated that nihilism was one of the biggest problems in Black America. Nihilism is the philosophy in which one believes that there is no meaning to life. Nihilism in the black community translated to drug abuse and violence amongst each other, and mistreatment of each other. Dr. West also calls for more leadership in the black community. Dr. West dubs the void, “the crisis of black leadership”, he proposed the enigma of how the community can possibly find a new Malcolm X, or Dr. King. One of the few modern black revolutionaries, Dr. West’s work is rather provocative and enthralling to me and it has been an honor to be given the opportunity to educate whoever reads this entry. Peace and prosperity, beloved.

Black hero of the day:Gloria Jean Watkins

Black History Month has been revered as a month long emblazon for the black masses. Although it is the shortest month of the year, everyday we celebrate, reflect, and express gratitude for the royalty that we are predecessors of. Within this month, I will fulfill the obligation of educating St. Bonaventure on the legendary black revolutionaries that isn’t  taught in the United States’ “education” system. Peace, God, I hope you enjoy your 29 days of enlightenment, beloved.
Gloria Jean Watkins aka “Bell Hooks”, is an author, feminist, professor, and social activist. Though Watkins grew up in an impoverished area, and attended racially segregated schools of Hopkinsville, Kentucky; she naturally gravitated towards literature. Her great grandmother, Bell Hooks, perhaps was the most influential person in Watkins life. Hooks was a fairly candid observer, which bolstered her meticulous effort towards writing. Watkins main motivation to write her first book was the lack of attention and interest white women scholars gave her work and the gender issues by black scholars. Thus, resulting in the release of Ain’t I a Woman : Black Women and Feminism (1981), Watkins’ insightful first major book elaborated on the concept of intersectionality. Intersectionality is a concept that conjugates gender, race, social class, and so forth; and how this motley is societal distinctions impact the life of oneself. Her debut book was centric to the life of a black woman in the United States. In 1989, Watkins published Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black. Which particularly focused on the white imperialism and patriarchal oppression. Watkins is one of many black feminists who has made their mark on black history. It is an honor to be able to educate you on “Bell Hooks”.
Peace and prosperity, beloved.

Black hero of the day: Dr. Amos N. Wilson

By: Akim Hudson 

Black History Month has been revered as a month long emblazon for the black masses. Although it is the shortest month of the year, everyday we celebrate, reflect, and express gratitude for the royalty that we are predecessors of. Within this month, I will fulfill the obligation of educating St. Bonaventure on the legendary black revolutionaries that isn’t deified or taught in the United States’ “education” system. Peace, God, I hope you enjoy your 29 days of enlightenment, beloved.

Dr. Amos N. Wilson was a psychologist, sociologist, and Pan-Africanist who contributed to the proposition that the distinctions between blacks and white was the main catalyst of racism, not only in the United States, but globally. Thus, his belief in Pan-Africanism. After earning his undergraduate from the legendary HBCU, Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia; Wilson made his strides to New York City where he’d attain his Ph.D. from Fordham University. Brother Wilson’s most memorable piece of work, The Powerless Powerful Black Falsified Consciousness, renders how blacks’ have vast and immensely powerful minds, yet lack the power to spark an upheaval. The Powerless Powerful Black Falsified Consciousness divulges “we’re unconscious of the power that’s in our hands”; rather prophetic because blacks still aren’t aware of how powerful they truly are. Dr. Wilson is no longer with us, and his legacy is rather esoteric to the masses who are passionate of black studies. Though he died in 1995, I am delighted to have the opportunity to educate the audience on his greatness. Peace and prosperity, beloved.

Black hero of the day: Stokely Carmichael

Black History Month has been revered as a month long emblazon for the black masses. Although it is the shortest month of the year, everyday we celebrate, reflect, and express gratitude for the royalty that we are predecessors of. Within this month, I will fulfill the obligation of educating St. Bonaventure on the legendary black revolutionaries that isn’t  taught in the United States’ “education” system. Peace, God, I hope you enjoy your 29 days of enlightenment, beloved.
Kwame Ture aka Stokely Carmichael was a renowned flamboyant organizer amid the Civil Rights, and Pan-Africanism movement. He began his future of being a revolutionary leader while attending Howard University. He witnessed college students in Greensboro, North Carolina perform the monumental “sit-in” at the Whites only lunch counter. In June of 1966, Carmichael began his own movement. Carmichael created the iconic phrase “Black Power” during a rally in Mississippi. This phrase became iconic because it praised empowerment to the black community in the sense of enlightenment. One of the early black existentialist, likewise to the concepts of Booker T. Washington, and Marcus Garvey. Carmichael preached self help to the black community, meaning everything must be black owned. Black businesses, black industry, and so on and so forth. Carmichael also preached re-tribalism, his point was the black community was being destroyed by the turmoil caused by racial oppression. He himself would go back to Africa, making annual trips back to the United States. Later he served as the Honorary Prime Minister of The Black Panthers. Ture was a true revolutionary and a personal top-five favorite black revolutionary. Although he is no longer with us, and many don’t know of his legacy, his ability to conform the masses will never be undermined. Peace, God.

  The Top Ten Rap Artists of the Decade

By: Akim Hudson

Disclaimer: The term “best” is subjective, so if you disagree with the list, it is completely expected and justified. Also, the list is in no order and has nothing to do with skill and everything to do with influence on the culture of hip-hop. 

  1. Drake

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    PC:Billboard
  • In 2009, Drake made everyone aware that he wasn’t emerging, but he was here. His critically acclaimed mixtape, So Far Gone, was the beginning of Drake’s mainstream career. After the release of that mixtape, there was no looking back for Drizzy. Throughout this decade he released an array of albums that all have went platinum within days upon its release. Drake exudes an aura much greater than being a rapper, in fact, he was one of the originators of the era of rap singing. Drake is a true hybrid and became a household name, his fame and notoriety are ubiquitous, and is clearly a top ten rapper of this decade.  

Notable Discography: Take Care (2011, Grammy Award for Best Rap Album of the Year), Nothing Was The Same (2013, Grammy Nominated), If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (2015, Grammy Award for Best Rap Album of the Year).  

  1. Kendrick Lamar 

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    PC:Forbes
  • The one and only King Kendrick, Kung-Fu Kenny, a true wordsmith whose pen is unmatched by many rappers,not just of his era, but all time. In 2011, Lamar released the mixtape, Section.80. with tracks that indicated the motifs of the rest of his discography up to date. Lamar, with Aftermath Records by Dr. Dre released his debut album, good kid m.A.A.d city. With tracks like “Sing About Me”, “I’m Dying of Thirst” that detailed the multifaceted institutionalization of Black people within the United States. It was an instant classic that consists of little to no skips, each track potent in great diction, multiple perspectives, subjectivity, and vulnerability. In 2015, Lamar went on to drop To Pimp A Butterfly. This is my personal favorite K. Dot album. He described it as an album to lift the black artists and not the whack artist. TPAB was one of the more intricate albums of its time, along with each track is snippets of a poem that Lamar wrote, that concludes after the final track “Mortal Man”, in which he had a discourse about revolution and reform, Marxism-like reflections on socioeconomics with the late great Tupac Shakur. His last release came in 2017, the Pulitzer Prize winning album, DAMN. Not much to say about this masterpiece. A detailed introspection of oneself again, an insightful elaboration about the trauma of blacks in the United States, and so forth. Lamar is amongst the most respected in hip-hop history and has many years of dominance left in the tank.  
  • Notable Discography: good kid m.A.A.d city  (2011, Grammy Nominated for Rap Album of the Year, Grammy Nominated for Album of the Year), To Pimp A Butterfly (2015, Grammy Award for Best Rap Album), DAMN. (2017, Pulitzer Prize winner, Grammy Award for Best Rap Album).  
  1. J. Cole

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    PC: Billboard
  • The one and only Jermaine Cole, perhaps the most vulnerable, versatile, and one of two skilled rappers of his era, yet criminally underrated. To be honest, although he is my favorite rapper out now. Cole starts the decade with Cole World: The Sideline Story in 2011. Ambition was the main theme of this album, and the audience can feel the young bright-eyed ambition of Cole on the majority of tracks on this album. By 2013, Cole released my favorite, Born Sinner which was really Cole’s coming out party. That chip on his shoulder grew bigger, Cole was ready to wage war with the legends with this release. Cole and Lamar’s comparisons were one of the biggest enigmas of the decade to me. They go hand and hand, but Lamar only had more accolade than Cole. The amazing feature that Cole accomplished this decade, was three consecutive platinum selling albums with no features, but he had nothing to show for this amazing feat. Cole was snubbed every year from winning a Grammy. He has a chance to win a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album with his collaboration album, Revenge Of The Dreamers III. Cole is amongst the best rappers of the decade due to his ability to do everything your favorite rapper can do, but just a bit better.  

Notable Discography: Born Sinner(2013), 2014 Forest Hills Drive(2014), 4 Your Eyez Only (2016), KOD(2018).  

  1. Meek Mill

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  • King of Philly, Meek Milly. More than likely faced the most adversity than any other rapper this decade, but that isn’t why he is amongst the top ten. Meek Mill is from humble beginnings, but always divulges “f*ck being humble”, due to how everyone turned their back on him during his times of somber and melancholy. In 2011, Meek Mill lands a hit single “I’m A Boss” featuring his record label owner, Rick Ross. Along with “I’m A Boss”, drops Dreamchasers, one of four fan favorite mixtapes which gave hip-hop fans the nostalgia of gangsta rap from the 90’s and 2000’s. Then fans got a double whammy, Dreamchasers 2 and “Dreams and Nightmares” both released within 2012. The intro to “Dreams and Nightmares” is still Meek’s anthem and perhaps song of the decade. Meek’s legal issues is the highlight of his career, going in and out of jail frequently throughout the decade, each time dropping quality music upon his release. The most notable album upon his release was Championships, the 2018 release has been revered by the masses as his best album, hence why it is Grammy nominated. Since Meek’s release he has become the poster child for prison reform and unjust incarceration. Meek is on a roll still and has shown no signs of slowing down. We all love an underdog, and hope Meek can continue to stay on track.

Notable Discography: DC4 (2016), Dreamchasers(2011), Dreamchasers 2(2012), Dreamchasers 3(2014), Dreams and Nightmares(2012), Dreams Worth More Than Money(2015), Wins and Losses(2017), Championships(2018) 

  1. Nicki Minaj
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    PC: Billboard
  • The Barbie herself, perhaps the most dominant female figure in hip-hop history. Minaj came to fame under Young Money by Lil Wayne. Her debut, Pink Friday won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, on her debut she earned a Grammy, impressive for anyone, but since there hasn’t been a woman in hip-hop history to accomplish such a feat adds on to the magnitude of the highest merit in music. Her album sales are the highest of any female in hip-hop history as well, 100 million units overall. Some may believe she is the greatest female emcee, I beg to differ, I say MC Lyte, but that’s a different discussion for a different time. The Barbie started a wave that produced talents such as Cardi B, who now has the torch.  

Notable Discography: Pink Friday, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, Pinkprint.  

  1. Future

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    PC:Pitchfork
  • Hendrix, the father of all mumble rapping, Percocet popping, lean sipping, dread headed trap rappers. Only thing I need to discuss in Future’s decade, was his undefeated run, lasting from 2014-2018. Look at the discography in that span, Honest (2014), Monster (2015), 56 Nights (2015), Beast Mode( 2015), Dirty Sprite 2 (2015), What A Time To Be Alive (2015), Purple Reign (2016),  Evol (2016), FUTURE (2017), HENDRXX (2017). This sort of eminence speaks for itself.  
  1. Chief Keef
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    PC: NBC News 
  • Chief Sosa, The Godfather of drill music. Straight out of Chicago, Keef birthed a new genre of hip hop. On the surface, the subject matter may be the same as the typical gangsta rap, but this was more of a gang banging type of rap. a Rap derived from the gang culture within Southside Chicago. 2012 Keef blew up and took the rap game by storm. He opened the door for G Herbo, Lil Durk, Lil Bibby, Lil Reese, and other Chicago rappers of the modern day. 

Notable Discography: Finally Rich(2012) 

     8. Lil Uzi Vert

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PC: Rolling Stone 
  • There wasn’t anywhere you can go in the summer of 2016 where you didn’t hear Uzi knocking from someone’s speaker. Luv is Rage had everyone in a frenzy, his melodic flow of music is irresistible to dance and vibe to. The magnitude of Uzi’s star power was utterly ridiculous. When he was going through label issues, millions of people were in anticipation of a “Free Uzi”. Anytime he released a new song the masses would be enthralled just from his presence alone. I consider Uzi to be a predecessor to Future and Young Thug. 2020 should be a good year for Uzi, gaining momentum from his latest release “Futsal Shuffle 2020”.  

Notable Discography: Luv Is Rage, Luv Is Rage 2, Uzi vs. The World, The Perfect Luv Tape 

  1. Kanye West 
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    PC: Billboard
  • Yeezy is a top five producer ever, and one of the greatest musical geniuses ever. To kick the decade off, Ye dropped My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, arguably album of the decade. Literally with no skips, great production, lyrics and subject matter. Yeezy himself may not have directly dominated the 2010’s, but his eminence did. He influenced every facet of hip-hop from production and auto-tune, to fashion and subject matter. Not to mention that he released The Life of Pablo, Watch The Throne, Cruel Summer, Ye, and produced many hits this decade. I didn’t like Yeezus, but it has been believed to be one of his better albums. Ye will continue his legendary career in the next decade.

Notable Discography: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010), Yeezus (2013), The Life of Pablo (2016), Jesus Is King (2019).  

  1. Tyler, The Creator

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    PC:Pitchfork
  • Tyler, The  He bolstered emo rap into the mainstream audience early on in his career, bringing a no holds barred style of authenticity. His subject matter was matched by no other and was fairly controversial at one point in his career. In his debut album, Goblin in 2011 detailing the dark introspective thoughts of Tyler. He was rather explosive and quarrelsome, with his“horror core” style of music. But he would evolve into a vulnerable and romantic type. His two latest releases, Flower Boy and IGOR, depicted the growth of Tyler, and IGOR is Grammy nominated. His musical genius is only expanding and gaining fortitude and versatility. He created Odd Future, and empire that fell apart but in its prime was in a class of their own and have been dubbed the modern-day Wu-Tang. Tyler is still very young and will continue to drop classics.  

Notable Discography: Goblin (2011), Wolf (2013), Cherry Bomb (2015), Flower Boy (2017), IGOR (2019).  

 

Honorable Mention: A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, Young Thug, 21 Savage, Pusha T, Jay-Z, Chance The Rapper, Migos (disqualifies because they are a group), Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka Flame, Kodak Black, Freddie Gibbs, A Boogie, Tory Lanez.