Although Dr. Cornel West is mostly known as the profoundly intelligent and educated professor and cultural critic who is called upon every now and then to give his opinion on the state of the African-American community and related issues. Now Dr. West is teaming up with hip-hop artists to drop an album that focuses on the state of the nation. The album, “Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations,” will be released on June 19 under the organization Black Men Who Mean Business, founded by West, his brother Clifton West and producer Mike Dailey.
"It isn’t a commentary on hip-hop. And I’m not coming in as a hip-hop scholar or critic," West told Billboard. "This is an attempt to go back to hip-hop’s prophetic roots, which are about truth-telling, exposing lies and having fun. It’s what I call a danceable education or a singing paideia, the Greek word for deep education. If there is one person whose spirit I try to embody on this CD, it’s Curtis Mayfield. His music is about love and freedom and really informs. This is a very political album that doesn’t pull any punches. There are critiques of the Bush administration as well as of unaccountable corporate power, unaccountable police power and homophobia. We’re trying to get young people to wake up and recognize they’re part of a great tradition of struggle, to become organized and fight for freedom and justice."
The album features appearances from Prince, Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, KRS-one, Rah Digga, Black Thought, Rhymefest and others. Here’s the track listing:
"Bushanomics," featuring Talib Kweli
"America," featuring Black Thought, Rah Digga, Iriz & Lucky Witherspoon
"Dear Mr. Man," featuring Prince
"N Word," featuring Tavis Smiley & Michael Eric Dyson
"Welcome to Chi," featuring Rhymefest, Neo-Abassy & Malik Yosef
"Mr. President," featuring KRS-One & M-1
"Keep It PI," featuring Killer Mike, Doey, Roc & Lucky Witherspoon
"Chronometrophobia," featuring Andre 3000
"Gonne Be Alright," featuring Dave Hollister & Chuckii Booker
"Matter Of," featuring Lenny Williams
"Soul Sista," featuring Daryl Moore
"The Man’s Gonna Getcha," featuring Gerald Levert