Native son, speaking in the native tongue

from Yasiin Bey – Hip Hop Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Literally: A Brookyln native speaking in the local slang

NB #1: Native Son (1940) is a landmark African American novel by Richard Wright. The title essay of James Baldwin’s first collection, Notes of a Native Son, expresses his ambivalence about Wright’s presentation of the book’s lead character (a poor ghetto resident who ultimately commits a ghastly crime against a white woman he works for) as a symbol of the black experience.

NB #2: The “Native Tongues” were a hip-hop collective who focused on making “conscious” and “positive” hip-hop in the late 1980s and early 1990s — key members included The Jungle Brothers, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, and Black Sheep. Mos got his start in hip-hop guesting on a 1996 record by De La Soul called “Big Brother Beat.”

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