Thursday, July 30, 2009

Boogie Down Productions - "You Must Learn"

As was one of the most annoying trends of hip hop music in the 1990s, the video version of this song was much different (and far superior) to the one on the album. Whereas the album version starts with the infamous, "Hey Kris? What are you doin' outta school???" bit, this one starts with the Blastmaster KRS-ONE speaking to a bunch of kids in a classroom before he is forceably removed by the white devil school board. He is greeted by the rest of the Boogie Down Productions, including D-Nice and his enormous wife at the time, Ms. Melodie. (Was Melodie her maiden name?)

The cool thing about this video is that it is essentially about learning black history in America, but it more or less sounds like a party song. KRS, for all his flaws and pretention, really rocks this song. And I learned things like that a black man invented the traffic light and another invented the straightening comb. The video is actually surprisingly dynamic for its time period, with a lot of motion and movement. And better than most BDP videos of the day, that's for sure. I do really enjoy the Benetton-multicultural group of teenagers who start lip-sync'ing at the end. And boy does KRS know how to get a crowd to follow him down the street.

Let me continue with Theodosyius
A Greek ruler not known to most of us
He in the fourth century A.D.
Calls the Egyptians fools you see
Two years later, Justinian rules
Six A.D., was it for schools
As a result, ignorance had swirled
Over Christian Europe and grateful Roman worlds
This went on for a thousand years
Of ignorance stupidity and tears
Now comes the seventeenth century hardness
Europe, began to come out of it's darkness
So J.F. Blumenbach, a German
Came out of nowhere and started confirming
White supremacy and men of colors
Before this time, all men were brothers
It was Johann, who went on to say
There are five different colors in the world today
That's caucasian, malayan, and mongolian
American-indian, and ethiopian
Yes, the ignorance gets scarier
He believed whites were superior
According to his idiotic fountain
The purest whites were from the Caucas mountains
J A Blofener, and H S Chamberlain
Both supported this outrageous racism

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