Bill Cosby to Release Hip-Hop Album to Raise Social Awareness
Back in January 2008, to the surprise and sheer confusion of the media, Bill Cosby announced plans to debut a hip-hop album. Now that the elapsed time has allowed the initial shock to wane, Cosby's plan is finally coming to fruition. 'Bill Cosby Presents the Cosnarati: State of Emergency," is due November 24 and represents the iconic comedian's effort to bring awareness and social consciousness to troubling issues in hip-hop culture.
With tracks like "Where's the Parade," an ode to black women, and "Dad Behind the Glass," which addresses the issue of absentee fathers, Cosby felt the need to carefully explain the idea behind the album.
"I don't like referring to the music as clean," he said. "What I like is what you're not going to do. You're not going to curse. You're not going to put women down. You're not going to put the glory of the gun somewhere. And you're not going to put a whole lot of violence up front like that's the thing that will cleanse you and make you feel better."
Cosby enlisted the help of a few musical stars to help produce the fusion album, which includes elements from hip-hop, R&B, funk, pop and rock genres. Alicia Keys, LL Cool J, Eric Clapton, William Patterson and the late Miles Davis are heard throughout the project. And before you become unnerved by the idea of Cosby trying to bust a rhyme, find comfort in the fact that he left the rapping to professionals, opting to create the narrative concepts for the tracks instead.
In addition to the album, Cosby will also host a virtual town hall meeting October 19 in New York City. During the 90-minute event, Cosby's Cosnarati Band will perform songs from 'State of Emergency.' The event will be streamed live on urban radio station websites across the country through Ustream. The town hall meeting will also be featured on facebook.com/billcosby, as well as billcosby.com, which will be re-launched in conjunction with the new project. Members of the audience will be able to Tweet at Cosby during the town hall meeting by using the link: http://www.tinyurl.com/ASKCOSBY.
Tracks from 'Bill Cosby Presents the Cosnarati: State of Emergency,' will be available for download on the day after the event, more than a month before the album's official physical release.