In 2000, Dead Prez unleashed their debut album, Let's Get Free. The album was a welcome return to provocative and often radically political rhetoric that hearkened back to hip-hop forebears including The Coup, Public Enemy, and KRS-One. Sermonizing Black Nationalism, Pan-Africanism, and the benefits of a healthy and just lifestyle during the height of the Bad Boy / Roc-AFella era of nihilistic excess in the late '90s, they also signed to a major label (Loud / Columbia) despite leaning much more towards the burgeoning indie aesthetics of the day. But this was a good thing -- using major label muscle to wake up righteous hip-hop fans who might have fallen asleep at the wheel. A classic of conscious hip-hop. Essential.