Due to the title of Kanye West’s debut album, “College Drop-out”, the HBCU network decided to produce its own album titled “Blackberry Volume One” to counteract the message sent to young blacks by West’s CD title.
The tracks featured on volume one of the CD are laid down by various Howard University, Morehouse, Morris Brown, Southern University, and Tuskegee University students. The CD aims to capture the positive side of the black college experience through an eclectic collection of songs and poetry.
People who are into positive rap and R&B will like “It’z all about time” after the intro. Shak-C tries to put students in the “right mind” with his flow that combines a positive message with a mellow beat.
The Howard University student tries to persuade his peer to stop selling drugs and spending money.
Fast forward to the seventh track, “HBCU Anthem”, a male rap group under the name Undefined lay down verses about everything from studying to females over a salsa style beat. Although this attempt had merit, it shouldn’t be considered the HBCU anthem.
Understanding track eight may be hard for those who are not bilingual. Rio Negro has a beat that makes you want to salsa or learn if you do not know how. “Que Buena Me Suena,” is most definitely the hottest track on the album.
In most cases, women find it hard to be friends with other women. But on track 11, Tonya Chester changes it up and sends a message to black women with her neo-soulish song “Girlfriend.” This Tuskegee University Student urges her “girlfriends” not to let any body “hold you down” and realize that the “power is in you”.
The uplifting tracks for women do not stop with 11. The next track by Shak-C talks about young women and sex. He tells a story about a girl who started having sex early and ended up with a baby and aids. “Take Your Time,” is a message all students, male and female, can benefit from.
For all of those interested in spoken word, “Let’s Talk” (track 15) is for you.
Jon Goode lets you know everything that is “not cute” and how most parents are the corrupters of their children. One word: Deep.
The album is a very positive soundtrack for the black college experience.
The tunes are somewhat nostalgic and if you are not careful you might miss class playing this CD.
The down side is it is so positive that many students may not even want to listen.
There are no explicit lyrics and it’s not talking about money, rims, and women in a negative sense.
End the end: for a positive addition to your CD collection, buy this album and keep your eyes and ears posted for volume two.
Contact Crystal Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org