Rappers Come Together to Release America Is Dying Slowly (1996)
America Is Dying Slowly (a backronym for AIDS) is a compilation album released in June of 1996 that featured many big name hip-hop acts talking about HIV/AIDS and reaching out to African-American men. The project was spurred in part by West Coast rapper Eazy-E's death from complications of AIDS, which had rocked the hip-hop world the year before.
Some featured artists include Mobb Deep, De La Soul, Coolio, Biz Markie, Fat Joe, Common and Wu-Tang Clan. Upon its release, it was dubbed "a masterpiece" by The Source. America Is Dying Slowly was the first hip-hop-focused album to be released by the Red Hot Organization -- an organization dedicated to fighting AIDS through pop culture -- in a series called the Red Hot AIDS Benefit Series.
Common continued his activism by becoming the spokesperson for the Knowing Is Beautiful campaign.