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23 Rap Songs That Will Wake You The Fuck Up

Conscious rap isn't just a thing of the past. Here are some of the best socially charged rap songs of the new millennium.

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2. "Alright," Kendrick Lamar

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"We been hurt, been down before / N***a, when our pride was low / Lookin' at the world like, 'Where do we go?' / We hate po-po / Wanna kill us dead in the street fo sho / N***a, I'm at the preacher's door / My knees gettin' weak, and my gun might blow / But we gon' be alright."

3. "Strange Fruition," Lupe Fiasco


"Now I can't pledge allegiance to your flag / 'Cause I can't find no reconciliation with your past / When there was nothing equal for my people in your math / You forced us in the ghetto and then you took our dads."

4. "Reagan," Killer Mike

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"They declared the war on drugs like a war on terror / But what it really did was let the police terrorize whoever / But mostly black boys, but they would call us 'n*****s' / And lay us on our belly, while they fingers on they triggers / They boots was on our head, they dogs was on our crotches / And they would beat us up if we had diamonds on our watches."

5. "Paranoia," Chance the Rapper


"They murking kids; they murder kids here / Why you think they don't talk about it? They deserted us here / Where the fuck is Matt Lauer at? Somebody get Katie Couric in here / Probably scared of all the refugees, look like we had a fuckin' hurricane here / They'll be shooting whether it's dark or not, I mean, the days is pretty dark a lot / Down here, it's easier to find a gun than it is to find a fucking parking spot."

6. "Just to Get By," Talib Kweli

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"Yo, I activism, attacking the system / The Blacks and Latins in prison / Numbers have risen, they're victims, lacking the vision / Shit and all they got is rapping to listen to."

7. "Never Let Me Down," Kanye West


"I get down for my grandfather who took my mama / Made her sit in that seat where white folks ain't want us to eat / At the tender age of 6 she was arrested for the sit-ins / And with that in my blood I was born to be different."

8. "Don't Shoot," The Game feat. DJ Khaled, 2 Chainz, Fabolous, TGT, Swizz Beatz, Yo Gotti, King Pharaoh, Curren$y, Problem, Rick Ross, Wale, and Diddy

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"Hands in the sky, still was left in the road / Ribbon in the sky, Michael Brown, another soul / Stole by the system, black men, we pay the toll / The price is your life, Uncle Sam want a slice."

9. "Guns Under Fire," the Roots


"You know the stakes is high, we in the face of drama / That's why we can't shake it or escape the problem / It's like a game of roulette, the barrel revolving / They only wanna see us occupying a coffin / Mothers crying too often from they lost child leaving / From trying to get over, get under, get even."

10. "Murder to Excellence," Jay Z and Kanye West

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"This is to the memory of Danroy Henry / Too much enemy fire to catch a friendly / Strays from the same shade n***a, we on the same team / Giving you respect, I expect the same thing / All black everything, n***a, you know my fresh code / I'm out here fighting for you, don't increase my stress load / N****s watching the throne, very happy to be you / Power to the people, when you see me, see you." —Jay Z

13. "January 28th," J. Cole

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"What's the price for a black man life? / I check the toe tag, not one zero in sight / I turn the TV on, not one hero in sight / Unless he dribble or he fiddle with mics."

14. "New National Anthem," T.I.


"Trayvon in a hoodie, walking through the neighborhood he / Didn't do shit to buddy, he didn't have to die, did he? / I guess it's because his dad was a judge in the city / They didn't want him in the pen with the thugs that could get him / A jury of his peers said all was forgiven."

15. "N****s in Protest," Yasiin Bey

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"Poor so hard, this shit crazy, walk outside, the whole world hate me / Nervous stares at the thoroughfare, surveillance cameras, police tracing / Poor so hard, this shit weird, we be home and still be scared / There's grief here, there's peace here, easy and hard to be here."

16. "Hold You Down," Childish Gambino


"The black experience is black and serious / 'Cause being black, my experience, is no one hearin' us / White kids get to wear whatever hat they want / When it comes to black kids one size fits all."

17. "Around My Way (Freedom Ain't Free)," Lupe Fiasco

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"Say that we should protest just to get arrested / That goes against all my hustling ethics / A bunch of jail n****s say it's highly ineffective / Depart from Martin, connect on Malcolm X tip."

18. "Freedom of Speech," Wale

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"Crack babies turned crack sellers, still got nada / That happens when you black n***a with no product / Unathletic, it's sad though when it's no calling / So now you with the strapped n****s that want problems / No problem, and the hood ain't changed in years."

19. "Tell the Children," Tink


"They have complete domain over us / They are like gods / If they tell you you cannot do something, you cannot do it, and if you do, they will treat you like a dog / You will be shot down / Well, at least for a black man, I'm not sure for everybody but I do understand that / I hope it's not like that for everyone."

20. "New Slaves," Kanye West

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"You see it's broke n***a racism / That's that 'Don't touch anything in the store' / And it's rich n***a racism / That's that 'Come in, please buy more' / 'What you want, a Bentley? Fur coat? A diamond chain?' / All you blacks want all the same things."

21. "Hood Politics," Kendrick Lamar

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"From Compton to Congress, set trippin' all around / Ain't nothin' new, but a flu of new Demo-Crips and Re-Blood-licans / Red state versus a blue state, which one you governin'?"

22. "Sly Fox," Nas

Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

"Only black man that Fox love is in jail or a dead one / Red rum, political bedlam /

Don't let the hype into your eyes and eardrum / Murdoch owns Fox / Not A-Team with Baracus / And he hates Barack 'cause he march with the marches."

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