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Higher Learning. A publication from Medium for the interested man.

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Don’t be fooled by the saccharine lyrics and melodies that ooze from Isley Brothers classics. The songs’ authors are gladiator competitive. Their iconic lead, Ronald Isley, is nothing short of loquacious when addressing this fact.

The man formerly known as Mr. Biggs admits that since the 1950s, he and his…

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Photos: Lester Cohen/John Shearer/Scott Gries/Getty Images

Clifford “T.I.” Harris always had a crown hovering above his head, even before he rocked it with a tilt. Like his extensive vocabulary, the Atlanta rapper/thespian/entrepreneur is continuously growing, expanding, and coming up with new ways in which to make his mark on the world. …

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Photos: Tim Mosenfelder/Patrick McMullan/Ken Hively/Getty Images

Tarik Luqmaan Trotter is not your father’s late-night television bandleader. Whether inside or outside of the recording booth, the Philadelphian orator and scribe extraordinaire is also an anomaly. Let’s consider his origin story.

Before Tarik Trotter turned two, his father — a gangster and Muslim from South Philadelphia — died…

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Photos: Michael Tullberg, Gary Gershoff, Randy Shropshire, Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

Public Enemy’s greatest albums are 1988’s It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and 1990’s Fear of a Black Planet. No cap. No debate. The two works are hip-hop institutions. It Takes A Nation…, arguably the genre’s most transformative album, changed the sound of rap forever. Fear…

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Photo illustration. Sources: Mario Ruiz/Getty Images, Toni Anne Barson/Getty Images, Anthony Barboza/Getty Images, Michael Abramson/Getty Images

The streets on Manhattan’s Upper East Side are eerily free of cars and pedestrians on a lovely Sunday afternoon. The few locals you see are mostly middle-aged and white-haired. It’s a stark contrast to the scene just a few miles away in lower Manhattan, where the first weekend of youth-led…

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Photos: Jamie Crawford-Walker/Getty; Peeter Viisimaa; Jean Baptiste Lacroix

When speaking with Buju Banton, your job is to be less interrogator and more listener. Big ears and patience are required. The 46-year-old legend may not answer queries with the precision you desire, but he will do exactly what he’s done throughout his 30-year career: educate.

Ever since revolutionizing the…

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Higher Learning. A publication from Medium for the interested man.

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