As I watched the controversy that developed over the NAACP’s nomination of some artists who’s images might not what you would consider to be…ummm….positive, I thought about the difficulties of being a conscious artist and getting recognition. I understand that the NAACP Image Awards want A list celebrities so they can generate ratings and too often artists that make music that’s intelligent don’t make it into the “mainstream”. I asked on Facebook and Twitter why the NAACP Image Awards doesn’t have a category for inspirational artists, if they did here are just a few I would nominate.

Wise Intelligent

If he’s not in your top five dead or alive you’re just not listening. But he’s not just an artist, his work in the community of Trenton with the Intelligent Seedz means he just doesn’t rap it he lives it. Pick up his new new album The Unconkable Djezuz Djonez on itunes


She’s also a activist/artist, making great music, while at the same time calling attention to the poverty and gentrification in the city of Detroit. She also turned down bigger industry deals to form her own company Emergence Music

Dee 1

Dee 1 is a new name nationally but he’s been make relevant and intelligent music in Louisiana for years. This former middle school teacher saw the growing influences of Hip-Hop artists on his young students and turned it into a classic song “Jay, 50, and Wezzy“. He just dropped a his new mixtape “I Hope They Hear Me Vol. 2” which you can download for free at


I know he bills himself as The Christian Rapper but take one listen to Bizzle and you’ll bear witness his lyrical skills and everyman demeanor have a universal appeal. You can download his mixtape “The Messenger 3” at


I got a mixtape dropping soon too ha ha, but feel free to check out my letter to BET CEO Debra Lee it kinda sums up how I feel about a lot of these awards shows. And feel free to pick up my CD American History X