Since moving to the Lone Star Republic, life has been busy. Really busy. It’s fair to say that I underestimated the intensity of graduate school and have only recently been calming from my whirlwind of learning. My intellectual trial-by-fire and the drastic change of schedule jolted me from my routines, many of which included this blog. This shift most inadvertently created a vacuum for my daily music listening. Fortunately, I landed a part-time gig at the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD) in September. For 10 hours a week, my position here allows me to read immersive commentary on race and identity in American politics, and update their social media. Most importantly, it has provided me with the much-needed space to reengage with the newest hip-hop.

So with that, I bring you From Texas, With Love. This playlist captures the complex emotions, thought-provoking lessons, and recurring themes I’ve encountered in the past four months.  From Kemba’s hard-hitting opus “The New Black Theory” to the more whimsical “Photobooth” by Joey Purp, the ever-changing sphere of hip-hop music almost perfectly mirrors that of the American political landscape. This twisting and inspiring journey into the heart of Black America has helped me witness the anger, hope and escape many have embraced later in the year. From shootings in Dallas to a thundering Black Lives Matter movement, hip-hop at the moment has evolved even more into an outlet of observation and protest. My arrival in policy school helped me think through these ideas, and hopefully this playlist reflects that introspection. Sit back, relax and vibe with it.

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