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Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five made a huge splash in the summer of 1982 with their seminal rap hit, “The Message” – a socially conscious and still-resonant song many regard as a classic. Now 30 years in existence, the track is part of the conversation once more as author as New York University academic fellow Felicia Pride has joined forces with the NBC network’s publishing arm to republish her latest book The Message: Life Lessons From Hip Hop’s Greatest Songs.

Already being used as a tool in classrooms, Pride’s book focuses on the lyrics and poignancy of tracks such as Public Enemy’s “Fight The Power,” EPMD’s “Please Listen To My Demo,” and other songs which will break down their connection to politics, love, business and other socially impactful instances. Public Enemy’s Chuck D provides the foreword for the book, calling it a “forward step culturally, back where we need to be.”

NBC, recognizing the importance of Pride’s work, has released The Educators’ Guide to The Message as a free companion e-book as well. The guide will help teachers and instructors apply the lessons delivered through verse, and just may make a few of them appear a bit more hip than their students perceive them.

As a Hip-Hop education fellow, Pride has had her work and research featured in major publications and mediums such as NPR and USA Today. The author of seven books is also in charge of The Message Project, which encourages youth to “amplify their messages.”

The Message: Life Lessons From Hip Hop’s Greatest Songs is available through a variety of online retailers such as Amazon, Apple, Google, and others.


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Photo: NBC