[a]Dead Prez[/a] make no concessions to anybody - a refreshing change to the current glut of buddy-boy, backslapping rap records. [I]Vive la rivolution[/I] - fight the power.
The debut album from this Florida-based two-piece is a return to when rap wore leather Africa pendants round its neck and followed [a]Chuck D[/a]’s design for life.
Dreadlocked MCs M-1 and Stickman favour freshly-squeezed over Cristal and “[I]African princesses”[/I] over beeyatches. Preaching Black Panther politics over super-slick beats on tracks like ‘African’ and ‘They Schools’, Dead Prez have made an unfashionably political album that screams for change and a return to Afro-centric values in rap.
Album highlight ‘Hip-Hop’ delivers this message the most ferociously. A truly remarkable, inventive track – with its crazy, twisting boa constrictor bassline and blazing, call-to-arms chorus – it’s a fierce declaration of war on hip-hop capitalists and an urgent reminder for rappers and fans alike to consider the bigger picture, asking them: [I]”Would you rather have a Lexus or justice?”[/I]
Unfortunately, ‘Let’s Get Free’ is sometimes a little too po-faced for its own good. Tracks like ‘Mind Sex’ and ‘Be Healthy’, while worthy in sentiment, lack the musical invention or lyrical dexterity to match the message.
But that’s just a minor flaw in what is a brave, intelligent LP.
Dead Prez make no concessions to anybody – a refreshing change to the current glut of buddy-boy, backslapping rap records. [I]Vive la rivolution[/I] – fight the power.