Public Enemy, the Coup, and X Clan: Ypsilanti’s musical maverick selects hip-hop tracks that shed light on black rights.
Growing up in southeast Michigan in the 1980s, hip-hop was party music for Todd Osborn, the soundtrack of his teenage breakdancing scene. But as the genre developed and artists like Public Enemy and Boogie Down Productions spoke out about social and political issues, their lyrics served as a window into the struggles and oppression that African-Americans face. In honor of Black History Month, Osborn selects the songs that first made him aware of black rights causes, highlighting popular favorites like Eric B. & Rakim, 2Pac and Grandmaster Flash, as well as lesser-known artists such as K.M.D., Group Home and Poor Righteous Teachers. Take a word from the wise and get down with these funky old-school tracks that still resonate today.