Every month, NPR Music asks public radio personalities around this country to name a new favorite song and, this month, KOSU featured Oklahoma City rapper Jabee.
With its abundance of country and folk music, Oklahoma isn't typically celebrated for its hip-hop musicians. But when Chuck D compared Jabee to fellow Okie Woody Guthrie in a recent interview, it may have changed how some listeners view the Oklahoma City rapper. The common thread of illuminating social injustice through song is present on Black Future, with Jabee referencing the stories of Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray and Trayvon Martin. The Hannibal King-produced "Monument" has Chuck D acting as a mentor, dispensing encouraging words to Jabee. "You know what to do, you know what to say," the Public Enemy founder raps. "I know you can spit and I know you can bring everybody together." Throughout the album, Jabee — who has toured with Run The Jewels and Murs — drops powerful lyrics that touch on police brutality, complacency among his peers, and his own regrets and struggles. With strong words, top-notch production and a little push from Chuck D, Jabee's Black Future looks bright. —Ryan LaCroix, KOSU's The Spy
Heavy Rotation is a monthly sampler of public radio hosts' favorite songs. Listen to new music from Jabee, Tom Brosseau, Warpaint, Noname, and more at NPR.org.