Poor Righteous Teachers is a hip hop group from Trenton, New Jersey,
founded in 1989. Often referred to as PRT by its fans, Poor Righteous
Teachers are known as pro-Black conscious hip hop artists, with musical
content inspired by the teachings of the Nation of Gods and Earths.
Wise Intelligent, as the lead MC, is the most visible and well known
member of the group. Culture Freedom provides backing vocals and
production, and Father Shaheed serves as a DJ and producer.
PRT debuted in 1989 with the release of the single "Time to
Say Peace" b/w "Butt Naked Booty Bless." The trio
released its first album, Holy Intellect, in 1990, amid a number
of similarly pro-Black albums such as Public Enemy's Fear of a Black
Planet, X-Clan's To the East, Blackwards, and Brand Nubian's One
for All. While not as commercially successful as these albums,
Holy Intellect received critical acclaim and spawned the group's
only major radio hit, "Rock Dis Funky Joint." PRT returned
in 1991 with its second album, Pure Poverty. The album was not as
commercially successful as its debut, and was not as acclaimed. The
lead single "Shakiyla (JRH)", became a minor rap hit that
year. The group's third, and possibly most successful release to
date, Black Business, was released in 1993. Sales were once again
limited, but the album was a critical success. The album's lead single, "Nobody
Move", received little radio airplay. After a three-year hiatus,
PRT returned as a group in 1996 with its fourth album, The New World
Order. Released in a new Hip Hop era, the album received little attention,
failing to reach the Billboard 200 album chart. The album's lead
single, "Word Iz Life", was barely able to reach the Hot
Rap Singles chart, peaking at the chart's lowest position, #50. Despite
the lack of significant attention, the album, like its past releases,
received significant acclaim.
In 2001, Poor Righteous Teachers dropped the rare underground release
Declaration of Independence. In 2006, Cha-Ching Records released
Rare & Unreleased, a compilation of rare Poor Righteous Teachers
songs and remixes.
PRT had a short feud with rapper YZ over reels of tapes that YZ
would not give back to its owner, PRT.