Almost since it first emerged on the streets of the Bronx, audiences have expected hip-hop to express a revolutionary purpose. But perhaps this music shouldn’t have to take a political stand
Halfway through side one of A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, the 1991 debut album by the hip-hop duo Black Sheep, some protesters interrupt the music. “Yo, man,” one guy says. “Why don’t you be kicking some records about, y’know, the upliftment of the Blacks?” Another asks why Black Sheep is silent about “the eating of the dolphins”. Someone else mentions “the hole in the ho zone”, turning environmental degradation into a dirty joke – perhaps unwittingly.
In response to all these demands for instruction, the guys from Black Sheep can only chuckle. Something about hip-hop makes listeners greedy for more words, better words. But Black Sheep made a brilliant album. What more could anyone want?