In the mainstream, New York duo Dead Prez is best known for the hit single "Hip Hop," which, in addition to having a wickedly catchy hook, served as the intro music for Chappelle's Show.
But beneath the charts, the New York duo is known as a leading voice in socially conscious hip-hop, a style that aims its lyrics squarely at hot-button topics like racial politics, social and economic injustice, and violence.
Instead of being a hype-fueled ego-fest, Dead Prez's songs explore personal accountability and improvement as well as respect for other people. And they dish no shortage of criticism on the media. The band has even been known to burn money on stage and throw apples at crowds demanding that they eat well, in line with its 2000 vegan anthem "Be Healthy."
But instead of coming off as condescending, Dead Prez has the same swagger as mainstream rappers. As the title of its 2004 album put it: Revolutionary But Gangsta.