LA rapper Hopsin has released the latest instalment in his “Ill Mind Of Hopsin” series, and it’s been making waves across the internet for the past 24 hours. The controversial rapper who has a history of mocking various rappers (primarily Tyler The Creator, but also Lil Wayne, Drake, Lupe Fiasco, Soulja Boy and more) has taking a different turn this time, and taken a departure from his normal juvenile lyrics to a deeper message with this new release.
Ill Mind Of Hopsin #5 offers a brutal analysis of a few of his (fictional) peers’ lifestyles pointing out all of their cliched shortcomings, from weed induced apathy to promiscuity and conforming to stereotypes. Whilst the beat offers nothing new or revolutionary his lyrics are refreshing to hear and come from a more thoughtful position than most commercial hip-hop.
However, there should be no illusions that Hopsin is the first to tackle this subject matter. There have been a huge raft of hip-hop artists promoting more positive lifestyles for a matter of decades, and it seems surprising that the internet has attached onto this video so positively (he’s received over 100k views in less than a day!).
Here’s our top 10 songs (in no real order) that we feel have paved the way for this style of music, offering a more considered and positive outlook on life without compromising their hip-hop roots. They’re not all underground obscure tracks (of which I am sure there are a ton), rather mainstream tracks that have helped portray hip-hop in a better light than some of their peers!
10. Flobots – Handlebars
9. Mos Def – Mathematics
8. Immortal Technique – You Never Know
7. K’Naan – Take A Minute
6. Arrested Development – Mr. Wendal
5. Asher Roth – G.R.I.N.D.
4. Nas – I Can
3. Talib Kweli – Beautiful Struggle
2. Scroobius Pip – Get Better
1. Tupac – Changes
This is not meant to be an extensive list of every positive hip-hop song ever, just a selection to give a bit of inspiration to those who may be looking for more music along the same lines as the Hopsin track doing the rounds at the moment! Hopefully there’s something new on there for most people that will help offer a new perspective to those who have not seen the more positive side of hip-hop.
What is your favourite hip-hop track with a positive message? Leave a link in the comments!