LOS ANGELES – Aided by a stellar collection of artists unafraid to raise their voices in these challenging times, best-selling author, prominent scholar, socially-conscious intellectual, and academic philosopher, Dr. Cornel West conducts a virtual symphony of music and thoughts with the highly-anticipated release of “Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations,” on Hidden Beach Recordings (HBR).
Because of his intellectual contributions, Dr. West is widely considered one of the most gifted and provocative voices of the 21st century. A renowned African-American scholar, he has authored several books including, the New York Times best seller, Race Matters (1993), which has sold nearly a half million copies and changed the course of America’s dialogue on race, justice, and democracy. The book is considered a contemporary classic.
Dr. West has won numerous awards, including the American Book Award, and has received 20 honorary degrees. He is currently the professor of religion at Princeton University.
Dr. West steps out of the classroom and into the studio to record “Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations,” set to debut on HBR’s new Hidden Beach Forum label in June, during Black Music Month. The project brings together the voices of some of hip hop’s most progressive artists, including Talib Kweli, KRS-1, M1 of Dead Prez, Killer Mike, Rhymefest, Neo Abyss, Malik Yusef as well as musical giants, Prince, the late Gerald LeVert, David Hollister, and Chuckii Booker. Also, tracks on the CD include a riveting, scored-to-music debate on the many issues surrounding the use of the “N-word,” featuring Dr. West and radio, television and literary personalities Tavis Smiley and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson.
The brainchild of Black Men Who Mean Business (BMWMB) – that is, Dr. West, Mike Dailey and Clifton West – “Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations” is a collaboration of three men from different generations, who came together in the grand tradition of our forefathers to be a voice of enlightenment and empowerment … by way of music. The BMWMB concept was originally brought to Dr. West by Dailey, a Sacramento, CA-based music writer and producer.
In using hip hop and R&B to enlighten and inform, Dr. West underscores the genres’ roles as a social force, possessing a power that resonates across boundaries. “It has the capacity to enact change not limited to the charisma of a single personality, but through exerting a voice rising from the enclaves of America’s chocolate cities and vanilla suburbs,” he said.
With hip hop music serving as a main backdrop for “Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations,” Dr. West says the hip hop culture is now woven into the fabric of our nation; and moreover, it’s America’s “greatest export” in popular culture.
Said Hidden Beach Founder/CEO Steve McKeever: “Throughout history, particularly in troubled times, true artists have led the way in challenging injustice by using their talent to help bring attention to critical issues facing society. With this project, Dr. West allows artists to again be at the forefront of speaking out against unjust powers by skillfully conducting the voices of some of today’s most talented and intelligent performers into a symphony we all need to hear.
“We are blessed to have the compassionate, humble genius of Dr. West to help kick-off an important new corner of Hidden Beach, which will soon become a cornerstone of what we do,” added McKeever. “Like all material to be released on Hidden Beach Forum, we hope this project generates thought, debate, education and, ultimately, action in light the many societal ills we face today, and inspires everyday people to tap into their own greatness and join the effort for a better way of life for all of us.”