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dead prez - let's get free (Loud)

dead prez come bursting onto an ever commercial hip-hop scene. Dr Dre may insist he's "still got love for the street", but he's also still producing million selling records. Will Smith is no longer the Fresh Prince reminding Bel Air residents where their roots are, he's now Big Willy, American superstar.

dead prez, on the other hand, appeared on MTV a short while ago, dressed not as ganstas, but as guerrillas, insisting "It's bigger than Hip-Hop". What we have here are the radical, politically aware, not gonna take any shit, sons of Public Enemy. These are "Africans", not Afro-Americans, dissatisfied products of "'they' schools", battling against bullshit "hip-hop" and the "police state". They're socialists, preparing for a Civil War, respecting their women, eating healthy, rejecting drugs, hardcore young men bringing rap music back to its revolutionary roots. Peppered with samples of speeches by the socialist Black Power leader, Chairman Omali Yeshitela. This is music with a very serious message and a reminder that, despite the propaganda, life still sucks for a large part of black America.

Musically, though, this is more Spearhead than Disposable Heroes - melodic, groovy and well-balanced between message and music. This is definitely "bigger than hip-hop" and is highly recommended.

by Donnacha DeLong

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