Poor Righteous Teachers (PRT) emerged from Trenton, New Jersey, in the late 1980s and consisted of three members: Wise Intelligent, Culture Freedom, and Father Shaheed. Inspired by the teachings of the Five Percent Nation and the Nation of Islam, their music was heavily influenced by conscious and political themes, as well as their spiritual beliefs. PRT’s music is known for its socially conscious lyrics, positive messages, and heavy use of samples from jazz, soul, and funk music.
PRT gained national recognition with their classic debut album Holy Intellect in 1990. The album received critical acclaim for its insightful lyrics, eclectic sound, and inventive use of samples. The album’s lead single, “Rock Dis Funky Joint,” became a hit and helped establish PRT as one of the leading voices in conscious hip-hop. PRT continued to release several albums throughout the 1990s, including “Pure Poverty” (1991), “Black Business” (1993), and “The New World Order” (1996). Despite receiving critical acclaim, the group’s sales were never as high as some of their mainstream counterparts. Nevertheless, PRT maintained a loyal fanbase and continued to tour and release music throughout the years.