Music is my escape. Not just for me, but for many people who need to escape when the rainbow is enuff.

I grew up in church, but some days, Sunday is just too far away. Nowadays, prayer is what happens when my therapist raises his rates. So, I just escape unto a stage, through the pages of a book, or  into my headphones. These are songs that aid in the process of retreating from the latest police shooting, relationship drama, or  being told “sorry, we’re just not hiring right now.”

5. “Black Man” T.I. f/ Quavo, Meek Mill, and Mara

3 Things: Meek Mill found a song where his yelling for 90 seconds makes sense, I understand every word TIP is saying, and Quavo is using his trap powers to take on police brutality. Been listening to this for 3 straight days. F**k 12!

key F tha police line:
Black man, drop top, there go the cops.
Is it because of my people?
Is it because of my sneakers?
Is it because of my jersey?
Is it because Im perfect?

Any Black dude who has been denied entry into a bar across the country can relate to these questions.

4. “It Was A Good Day” Ice Cube

The dopest thing about this song is you can listen to it even if the day wasn’t good. One of the coolest things about Black dude attitude is taking something negative, and flipping into something positive. Old timey racists say a “nigger” is a bad thing, so we flip it into an endearing thing, partially to piss them off, and partially because you just gotta do what you gotta do. Ice Cube is a former member of NWA, and the only thing that pisses some people off more than a nigga, is a nigga with an attitude.

key F tha police line:
Drove to the pad and hit the showers
Didn’t even get no static from the cowards
Cause just yesterday them fools tried to blast me
Saw the police and they rolled right past me

damn, you lucky Cube!

3. “Bigger than a Hip-Hop” Dead Prez

I t was the theme song for “Chappelle Show” Nobody mixes the real with the funny better than Dave. It also makes sense that he reached peak popularity at the same time as Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Kanye, Dead Prez, and many other artists from Rawkus records were gaining popularity. Though hip-hop in itself is a powerful, sometimes, it aint just about the party, but it’s bigger than that.

key F tha police line:
If you a fighter, rider, lighter, flame ignitor, crowd exciter
Or you wanna just get high
Then just say it
But then if you a liar-liar, pants on fire
Wolf-cry agent with a wire
I’m gon’ know it when I play it

This is #stopsnitching, but, because we trying to start the revolution

2. “Whats Going On?” Marvin Gaye

It’s just nobody better than Marvin Gaye. If somebody asks you what sould music is, point them to Marvin. Soul music is the cool uncle to conscious hip-hop. Its Michael Jackson’s afro, its Angela Davis’ fist, its Assata Shakur’s fleeing to Cuba, it’s 2Pac before he signed with Death Row, its cookouts and Black colleges. Sometimes, when two souls meet they say “whats going on?” and Marvin made a whole soundtrack to a greeting. Hotep and Hertep approved.

key F tha police line:
Picket lines and picket signs
Don’t punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what’s going on

Excuse me, I have to grab a tissue.

1. “F**k Tha Police” NWA

This really dont even need an explanation. Just listen to O’Shea Jackson, Andre Young, and my favorite ni**as lay out what its like to deal with police in Los Angeles. Cube wrote it after a series of events where Dr. Dre was harrassed by the police, including the whole group being pulled out of a recording studio, and lined up against a police car.

key F tha police line:
Fuck the police coming straight from the underground
A young nigga got it bad cause I’m brown
And not the other color so police think
They have the authority to kill a minority