Photo by Nico Nordström
Ryan Silva started rapping under the name Plato III while at the University of Texas, and he’s a longtime student of rap history. In high school, he fell in love with the conscious hip-hop of Black Star–featuring Yasiin Bey (f.k.a. Mos Def) and Talib Kweli–and it’s made some of his own work overtly political. On “Womankind,” Plato tackles a topic as old as time: the subjugation of women. In political songs, there’s always an urge to go big, sloganeering a way to victory. But Plato is more of an observer, letting the collected facts speak for themselves over spectral, slo-mo production. The simplest fact hits the hardest: “It takes a woman just to see the sun.”
“Womankind” appears on Life Before Death, out now via this pretty awesome USB drive.