Brother D – How We Gonna Make the Black Nation Rise?

Arguably, this is one of the very first socially conscious tracks ever done in Hip Hop. It was originally released in 1980, but reissued in 1985 by 4th & Broadway Records. Using Cheryl Lynn’s “Got to Be Real” as a sampled backdrop, Brother D with The Collective Effort brings the art of socially addressing issues that speak to the inner cities and impoverished areas (reform my ass :P)and asks this simple question in the title song. I’m taking you waaaaaaay back peoples. Can you dig it?

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Comment (47)

  1. I love how much of an earnest group effort this track is. You just feel it that the people who step up to the mic would have been told they're "not good enough" in any other context. But here in Hip Hop, their voices are being heard. Their voices have a place. Just a thought.

  2. Man, I haven't heard this in what, 20 years?! Every word is truth! Thank you for posting this. Respect to Brother D and this whole crew!!
    True and living! Brave of them drop this back in the day!!

  3. The description says this track uses 'Got To Be Real' as a "sampled backdrop". Strictly speaking, samplers were not in use yet. The bassline is replayed, not sampled, for this classic.

  4. Correction. Cheryl Lynn's vocals "Got to Be Real" are not sampled on the backgrounds. Background vocals were done by Motor Hot (session singers) and are singing "Let's Be Real".

  5. Every time Black people come up we are knocked back down, hell the government has even bombed black neighborhoods that were prospering. Even now with plan Parenthood shit trying to make its way to our communities and GMO. f#Facts

  6. Original tings. It does what it says on the tin. Raise up the black nation. Conscious rap. Long forgotten. Hip Hop been hijacked by corporate greed, tits and arse, gangster pimp individualism and niggerology. Sad, but enjoy the rare joint. Peace.  

  7. First heard this in 1980 as a white fourteen year old with dreads growing up in Bristol Uk blow my mind it still does it should have millions of hits up there with Gil Scott. What the hell happened to rap ?

  8. Awesome track. Discovered this on a fab NME cassette back in 83 – a real eye-opener. Dig the reference to concentration camps – guantanamo prophecy, anyone?

  9. I heard this back in 1980. English white boy but that lyric "there ain't party in the police state" has really stuck with me. We still got a police state, we're just too stupid to know it, still partying away and not caring a shit about the libertys that are taken away from us. It's not just a black thing although it was when this visionary record was made. Now it's just a working class thing, us against them.

  10. Peace.thank you so much for posting this Rap.I'm one of the "old timers" who was part of the collective effort that made this. We were in our 20's when this was made,"iBlessed are we who dare to be free. We gotta change the way we behave"please, repost and spread this because it is still relavent.

  11. Magnificent. This bald old white Brit first heard this when the NME (a British music mag) put it on a giveaway compilation cassette around 1981. It must have lodged somewhere in my head because I've been looking out for it ever since but couldn't find it, and I remembered most of it. Thank you so much for posting this.

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