Today In Hip Hop History: Poor Righteous Teachers Dropped Their Debut Album ‘Holy Intellect’ 34 Years Ago

On this date in 1990, Trenton, NJ-based rap trio Poor Righteous Teachers released their debut LP Holy Intellect on the Profile/Arista imprint. This album was one of the first full length albums that proudly projects the teachings of Allah’s 5% Nation, which was popular at the time among rappers such as King Sun, Lakim Shabazz, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim and others. Wise Intelligent, Culture Freedom and Father Shaheed created a cultural buzz around their reggae-esque sound and style, which opened up the space in a crowded market of artists to released an anticipated sophomore album.

Produced primarily by “Tony D” Dofat, Holy Intellect’s twelve tracks focused on the teachings of the 5%, but also included party anthems such as the album’s premiere single “Rock DIs Funky Joint” and a beautiful love ballad for the positive Black women entitled “Shakiyla”.

The album was named in The Source‘s 100 Best Albums Ever while the main single peaked at Number 4 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles.


Peace to Wise, Culture Freedom and Father Shaheed for this important piece of Hip Hop history!!