When I’m not reading about war and conflict, I’m usually listening to hip-hop. Come to think of it, I’m often doing both of those things simultaneously (like right now). Anyway, I’ve been noticing how many hip-hop artists incorporate military or war themes into their songs.
Here are five of my favourites. This is far from being an exhaustive list, so stay tuned for more. If you have one you’d like me to post please leave it in the comments section or send me an e-mail.
*Note: I just figured out how to embed YouTube videos onto here, so hopefully you won’t have to put up with those annoying links that open into new windows anymore.
Enjoy – but don’t watch any of these if you’re offended by explicit lyrics.
Killarmy – Red Dawn
Probably the most militaristic (or militant?) hip-hop group from the 1990s. This gem from 1998’s “Dirty Weaponry” has been a playlist feature of mine for years.
“We go to war like Arabians, Pakistinians, Richmond and Indians
Germans, Muslims, Vikings, Patriots
Trojans, Conquistodors, Romans
Projects, Aztecs, Confederates, Yankees, Nazis”
Non Phixion – Black Helicopters
Late 90s shock rap at its best. A good illustration of the conspiracy theory subcurrent typical of the genre and period.
“Trained by an insane ex Marine
CIA trained a renegade assassin android
Passport pilot to black helicopter choppers over Bosnia
Sniffing so much coke nose is fucked up and bled a lot”
Jedi Mind Tricks ft. R.A. the Rugged Man – Uncommon Valor
Probably the most historically oriented hip-hop song about war – the Vietnam War specifically – that I’ve ever heard.
“It frightens me and I just want to see my son and moms
But over here they dropping seven million tons of bombs
I spend my days dodging all these booby traps and mines
And at night, praying to God that I get back alive”
O.C. ft. Organized Konfusion – War Games
DJ Premier, you’ve done it again.
“My main frame, discipline like a soldier
Ready for war, pushups get my chest swoll up
What’s the deal Preme? I mean the scheme
I think I got it locked in ni**a, War Games is the theme”
Zach de la Rocha ft. Krs One and Last Emperor – CIA
I love the Big L sample, “So get that flashlight outta my face”. Definitely not a pro-government song.
“I bring the sun at Red Dawn to pull the thoughts of Franz Fanon
So stand at attention, devil dirge
You’ll never survive choosing sides against the Wretched of the Earth
The infiltrator, tribe intoxicator, people incarcerator
Liberation movement annihilator“