8. Prime Meridian, 'The Ghost of Tyrone West' (self-released)

Confessional rapper Kneel Knaris under the name Prime Meridian here delivers a mealy-mouthed anti-police-brutality anthem inspired by the death of his cousin and mentor Tyrone West in the hands of the Baltimore City Police in July 2013. He chants the '90s boom-bap-invoking hook ("No pity, my message to the citizen's committee/ Who the biggest law breakers in the city/ Full of corrupt politicians, red tape, road blocks, criminals, dope spots, what about these rogue cops?") like he's at a protest, and digs deep into the indignities of how the police handled West after his death with stomach-churning specificity ("Afraid to dig deeper, their information's shoddy/ Five whole days until my family saw his body"). In light of the death of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and sadly too many more to name, 'The Ghost of Tyrone West' feels even more haunting. (BS)

Copyright © 2019, Baltimore City Paper, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Privacy Policy