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HIV/AIDS Resource Center for African Americans
Kai Chandler Lois Crenshaw Gary Paul Wright Fortunata Kasege Keith Green Lois Bates Greg Braxton Vanessa Austin Bernard Jackson

13 Moments in Black Celebrity HIV/AIDS Activism

February 7, 2013


America Is Dying Slowly

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.

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