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Old School Fridays: Political or Socio-Political Songs!

15 August 2008 12 Comments

This week I channeled all of my psychic energies toward assuring that the theme for this week would fit with this 1994 jam that has been on iPod heavy rotation for no good reason all week long. It’s a bit of a fudge, but “U Will Know,” by Black Men United from the Jason’s Lyric soundtrack is going to have to fit the bill. Please indulge me while I break this joint down.

“U Will Know,” was written by D’Angelo before he even really had a name, which is especially impressive considering his use of the letter “U” as a substitute for “you,” a cutting edge move in a pre-text message world. Back in those days, you could get a bunch of artists together, name yourselves, and make a single song with a social mission (Voices That Care, Band Aid, the list goes on). I often think that if doing ensemble songs was still in vogue this country wouldn’t be going to hell in handbasket right now, but I digress. You know how socially-minded people have, say, moments of silence across the world for Darfur and whatnot? What I need you guys to do, because I’m in a certain kind of mood, is watch this video, sing along, point out R&B stars from yesteryear, feel all black and concerned and motivated (even if you’re white and lazy and couldn’t care less), and play “where are they now” with the artists in the video. This is Thembi’s soulclap across America day and I want 100% participation here!

Check Out Other Old School Friday Participants!
1. MrsGrapevine 2. Marvalus 3. Regina 4. Marcus Langford 5. Quick 6. Chocl8t 7. Cassandra 8. Kreative Talk 9. Lisa C 10. Invisible Woman 11. Vivrant Thing 12. Shawn Williams 13. Electronic Village 14. Hagar’s Daughter 15. Danielle Vyas 16. DP 17. Dee 18. FreshandFab 19. LaShonda 20. AJ 21. Sharon 22. Believer1964 23. Shae-Shae 24. Danielle 25. sjp 26. msladydeborah 27. Thembi


  • Keith said:

    Hey Thembi.

    That is a really great video, and thanks a lot for posting it. I really like the “We Are the World” kind of approach, and it was a kick seeing all thos familiar faces.

  • Regina said:

    Great pick! Lots of stars lending a voice!
    Have a great weekend!

  • QueenK.D.W.-BK86 said:

    I LOVE this song and am always too excite to hear it included anywhere. Especially the end when they break it down. Yea…I’m a fan.

  • Jazzy said:

    Good one. I have not heard this one in a long time. I USED to be so in love with Tevin Campbell.

  • Jazzy said:

    Oh and this was the R kelly I could not wait to play what happened to him?

  • Vivrant Thang said:

    First of all, girl stop. LOL! You be cutting up for real and I love it!

    I agree. Ensemble pieces would have folx in the studio and not fodder for Fresh and others to clown. Who am I kidding – shit wouldn’t change.

    Nice pick from one of my favorite movies. Real random but that’s what I like about it :) Everyone looks so young! The years ain’t been good to everyone. That’s the game we need to play. Who has and hasn’t preserved their sexy 14 years later!?

  • MrsGrapevine said:

    You are too funny, see I actually read the post as well as watch each video.

    We need more song like this. Could you imagine all the rappers like Souldja Boy, Plies, and Rick Ross creating an anthem for young black men.

    Great song, and post…

  • MsMarvalus said:

    That Jason’s Lyric soundtrack had lots of gems…this is one of my faves…

    I have to agree with Mrs. G…can you see the current faces of hip-hop doing a song like this? Methinks no…

    Great choice!

    Happy OSF (even though I’m late)!

  • Malcolm said:

    Excellent pick Thembi! It’s been awhile since I heard this one. I’ll have to add this to my “to be downloaded” list for the next time I visit Napster.

  • Get Togetha said:

    This Video brings a sentimental tear to my eyes. I look at all the faces of these brothers who gave a try at making a difference.

  • Creolebuttafly said:

    Nu-Nu, you will be glad to know, that this song graces the presence of my mixed tape #12 or #18, one of dem.. But, yeah I remember this joint.

    1. It was big, well at least to me, to have Kels and The Nasty Man involved on the same project
    2. again… where was Prince?
    3. I saw Pac in the back row..

  • Michelle said:

    aww, i started getting teary-eyed listening to the lyrics…makes me want to use it to choreograph a socially-conscious dance piece with the kids…

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