I never imagined that hip hop and natural wellness could intersect, but a recent listen to a random playlist on 8tracks came with a surprise sound bite called Be Healthy. Naturally, this spurred some deeper digging. Upon further research, I discovered the song was released back in 2000 by hip hop duo Dead Prez. With lyrics such as “Lentil soup is mental fruit“ and “Careful how you season and prepare your food/Cause you don’t wanna lose vitamins and miner-ules“, it promotes some powerful food for thought.
I also came across an interview with Dead Prez artist ‘Stic’ via Huffington Post Taste: Healthy is the New Gangsta. The article lends insight into the song’s lyrical subject matter and how it relates to poverty along with access to holistic wellness in urban neighborhoods. Another pioneering program, Hip Hop Public Health, targets inner city youth in New York and features an interactive online platform fusing healthy lifestyle messaging and music. These are serious trailblazers in the realm of healthy hip hop!
In more recent hip hop health news, did you hear that US First Lady Michelle Obama released an album last year? Well, sort of. Her hip hop album, Songs for a Healthier America, features artists collaborating on health-conscious beats with titles such as “U R What You Eat” and “Veggie Luv“. With staggering rates of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes in North America, this Obama initiative is a creative way to spark healthy habits at the earbud level.
According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, recent stats anticipate a rapid rise in type 2 diabetes among kids here in Canada. While type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes (my type) cannot be prevented, the skyrocketing prevalence of preventable type 2 diabetes in children is scary stuff.
Personally, I would love to see a revitalized version of Canada’s Food Guide with Canadian artists collaborating on a healthy mash-up of holistic nutritional tunes, would you? Perhaps the Biebs could benefit from a fresh start…