The Hip Hop Mortuary

"I wax lyrics so poetic even the most narcoleptic skeptic feels awake and perceptive"

2:27 PM


Posted by Guy Fawkes

When I got a request to review this album I actually jumped at the opportunity (not that obvious by my delayed post... sorry). But I've been needing a good excuse to jump into my Dead Prez collection, as it has been collecting computer dust for more than a year now. Lately all my music has been collecting computer dust but that's a different story. I first found out about Dead Prez when I heard Hip-Hop, I'm sure that's probably how most people know them as. But this time unlike many others when groups are categorized and unfairly labeled by their breakout song, Hip-Hop really did symbolize the message Dead Prez was trying to present. Strong, combative, political hip-hop that could be taken seriously. Dead Prez consists of two members, Stic.Man and M-1. So without any further adieu, here's the review;

1. One Side (The Anthem)-
It's really nothing more than an intro. If this were not an hip-hop album, it may have been a good song, but for this particular genre it's still an useless album intro.

2. Early-
The first thing I noticed about this song is it's lack of aesthetics, the album itself isn't very smooth and doesn't exactly mesh well together. For each of the three verses, their is a new flow, a new subject matter, and it's very incohesive (uncohesive?). It reminds me of listening to a Tech N9ne song, where there is almost no structure at all. Can't say I hated this song, but I can't say I'm ever going to listen to it again either.

3. Land, Bread, & Housing-
A pretty safe song when compared to the whole Dead Prez catalog, but it's worth checking out. Butter provides the backdrop for M-1's eclectic mix of family values and Pan-African "Fuck the white man" ideals. Song is very R&B tinged, and it's the first one I could recommend checking out.

4. For You-
You wouldn't really be missing anything if you skipped over this song. It's an organized mess of a song.

5. Confidential-

This song is a little slower, more of an R&B influence, but I still didn't find much to like about this song. By this point in the album, I'm getting a little bit annoyed by M-1's countless political jabber that just sounds endlessly paranoid. Not to add, he switched topics mid-sentence all the way throughout this song. But it's not something you shouldn't have expected, SONGS THAT SHARE THE ALBUM'S NAME ARE NEVER GOOD! Exclude Ready To Die from the above statement.

6. Love You Can't Borrow-
With a legendary counterpart on the mic, M-1 finally steps his game up and produces a track worth hearing. I'm not the biggest fan of the chorus, but I'll gladly listen to this chill mellow track again.

7. 5 Elements-
Once the beat kicked in I knew that this was a banger. And not in the typical sense either. By far the best song so far, only blemished by the cutesy Bruce Lee quote in the beginning and hook. It's not kicking knowledge when you take an open-ended philosophical statement and manipulate it to fit the songs message. Regardless, peep this track.

8. Gunslinger-
This is one of the worst interludes I've ever heard. And it's a song! Stay far, far away from this song. It reminds me of Caribbean Connection on Capitol Punishment. Obviously out of place, and horribly detaching from the album's overall message. To be curt, delete.

9. Comrade's Call-
Sounded like a repeat of For You. The hook is wack, the beat is insanely over-produced and everyone's flow is just off. Skip!

10. Don't Put Down Your Flag-
Another generic, two second hook... but this time it is accompanied by an outstanding beat and engaging lyricism and flow. Just for that alone, this song stands out. Aside from the album, this song holds it's own too... I guess you could bang this one.

11. The Beat-
Is out of place and does not fit the song at all. I guess they tried to turn a club beat into a instrument for political tirades, but it doesn't really fit well here (correction: it doesn't really fit well anywhere). The flow is really cut-up (in order to ride the beat) and detaches from anything useful M-1 or Bang Double could have said.

12. Been Through-
You'd think M-1 could have possibly chosen a more fitting instrumental when he has a feature from fucking Ghostface, but naw... you get more of the same. I understand the optimistic overtone here, but this beat does not fit the lyrical content. And fuck if M-1's weed-carrier Raye doesn't throw in 40 seconds of the weakest shit this side of Advil. Fabrizio Sotti may just be a possible candidate for worst producer ever and that's coming solely from this album.

13. Till We Get There-
Where is the originality? This is just like Love You Can't Borrow, Land Bread & Housing, and Confidential. They are all the same song. If you haven't yet tired of the above listed songs, you might like this one. It's admittedly one of the better tracks on this album, but that's not really saying anything.

14. Too Smart-

I wasn't very smart and listened to this song in it's entirety. The subject matter is kind of obvious, how M-1 is too smart to give in to government conspiracies set to scrutinize the black man. By this point I've had enough.

I have nothing positive to say about this album, so I'll just say that I wasted a small portion of my life on this album, and I advise you not to.

0-20: Terrible listening experience
21-40: Maybe one good song
41-60: A few good songs
61-80: Half are good songs, half are weak
81-100: Great listening experience, almost all are great songs

I give this album a 58.

If you really want to...You can find a link here


Anonymous said...

The girls voice on been through makes me want to stick a pick axe though my ears.

5 Elements was dope though.

Anonymous said...

Produced by some unknown named Spoo Noodles...