Tuesday Tune In – Return of the Conscious

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Talib Kweli…Mos Def…Tribe Called Quest…Common…Erykah Badu…


These artists used to breathe life into my ears; their words spoke to my soul. And then they disappeared; some to star in movies; others went underground leaving those who love these types of artists to swim in a sea of, what I consider to be, commercial drivel. And then 2014 happened. Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce, Solange and others began to speak up. And then they returned like the heroes they are to save the airwaves and those who consider themselves to be conscious!  

I can’t even describe the feeling I felt when I heard Tribe Called Quest, Common and Dave Chappelle were going to be back on TV and in the studio. And then I saw their performances on SNL. Excited! Elated! I could breathe again! I had music that encouraged me to think again! Now don’t get me wrong, I like me a little Chance mixed in with some Anthony Hamilton and Jill Scott but these guys, the aforementioned moved me and drove me to put pen to paper to speak on life outside myself. They made me pay attention to everything that was going on around me. I could mention more of the artists that woke me up but I would be here all day (feel free to leave your favourites in the comments though). 

Hearing the new Common and Tribe records gave me life! Black America Again and We The People have become the new go to tracks for me. They, among others, have become part of the vast soundtrack of the Black Lives Matter movement. Now I know they’re a bit political but they also speak on the life struggles of minorities period, and not just in the US. Not to mention the beats are FIRE! To be honest I didn’t know what being conscious meant until I listened to a Talib Kweli track. I didn’t know what it was to stick up for myself until I heard Badu belt out Call Tyrone. 

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It is amazing what a purely conscious record can do to the mind of a creative, especially one that considers music to be a Muse. Sure a club banger is great to listen to. Sure a love song is soothing if you are in the mood for that. But listening to an artist speak the words that you don’t know how to express about a subject that both directly and indirectly  touches you is just as cathartic as painting or singing or even writing. And these guys coming back to grace us with their presence is a nice and filling change; like finally getting a good meal after eating so much junk food for so long. 

Check out both below and let us know what you think in the comments. 

Til next time, 


Peace and Art