The revolutionary hip-hop band Arrested Development broke down barriers 30 years ago by releasing positive albums dedicated to Black self-love, Afro-centric themes and the end to white supremacy across the diaspora.
Co-founder and leader of the hit-making conscious rap group, Todd “Speech” Thomas, spoke to Atlanta Black Star about the group’s current projects and its upcoming 30th anniversary. During this exclusive sit-down, Thomas revealed his personal beliefs on topics ranging from the current state of the rap world to systemic white supremacy.
Beginning in 2012, the band worked on its most recent projects “Changing The Narrative” and “This Was Never Home,” which were both completed and released February 2016.
The albums have distinct sounds that appeal to die-hard fans and newcomers alike. “Changing the Narrative” is a sample-based album that has “raw hip-hop mixed with uplifting content” and it is free to listen to on the band’s website.
Both projects feature tracks discussing the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, violence in Chicago and the march on Selma.“This Was Never Home” utilizes the synthesizer and drum machine and focuses on how popular rap music changes the psychology of Black youths. It also tackles how marriage has been “torn down and dismantled in popular culture.”
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