'Hip Hop For Respect' is an eight track EP with a vision to confront police brutality. The album was a project undertaken by Rawkus Records' lyrical dons, Mos Def & Talib Kweli. It was motivated in part by the brutal killing of an unarmed Bronx man named Diallo who faced over 40 gunshots. This non-profit album, brought in a mass of hip hop artists all wanting to lend a hand. And all proceeds from sales go to the HIP HOP FOR RESPECT Foundation, a non-profit organization that combats police brutality nationwide.
This EP, is comprised of an intro, four lyrical tracks and three instrumentals. Despite only being comprised of four tracks, the long list of contributing artists include: Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Kool G Rap, Rah Digga, Sporty Thievz, Common, Pharoahe Monch, John Forte, Shyheim, Cappadonna, Ras Kass, Dead Prez, Parrish Smith, Toni Tony Tone, De La Soul, Rza and many many more.
This whole album is tight. The anti-police brutality lyrics flow fluid, with each artist sharing their view on the subject. "A Tree Never Grown" is my favorite track. Its chorus is smooth and the beat is just feel-good. The first single is "One Four Love Pt. 1"
This album definitely gets my vote of approval. The lyrics are tight, with one common theme. I've never seen so many hip hop artists unite for one common goal. It's nice to see hip hop give back to the world. 'Hip Hop For Respect' is for a good cause. In the words of Talib Kweli, "These songs are not about asking police to respect us, they are about respecting ourselves enough to not let our babies die for no good reason."
(Originally posted on HipHopCanada.com)
This review was written May 20, 2000