That Was My Jam: “Self Destruction,” Various Artists

15 Feb

This is a hip hop classic as far as I’m concerned. If you were in or near an inner-city in the 80’s, you are probably familiar with the outrageous amount of violence that was plaguing many communities of color. People were being murdered for gym shoes (sneakers for you NY cats) and dookie ropes and crack was a very sad and very real part of the lives of far too many people. Black men in particular and hence black families, were severely impacted by this catastrophic intersection of drugs and violence. This track, led by the incomparable KRS-One, is the hip hop community’s creative response to all of that madness. Dougie Fresh, D-Nice, MC Lyte and a bunch of other old school favorites kick a verse on “Self Destruction.” I know every word to this. If you’re not familiar with it, get familiar. It’s a great song with an equally great -and quite simple- message.

Unfortunately, drugs and violence have not exactly disappeared. Just yesterday there was yet another college campus shooting and every now and then, you read about a kid getting killed or seriously injured for an iPod or whatever is the expensive toy of the moment. Maybe one of these days, we’ll get politicians, investors, philanthropists, teachers, parents and everyone else to come up with the right balance of creativity, common sense and compassion that we need to make real, positive changes in this world. You down?

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Posted by on February 15, 2008 in Uncategorized


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