Blackalicious

Blazing Arrow (MCA)

Lyrics free of the gratuitous violence, misogyny, expletives, and overall "thugged-out/pimpin'/flossin' my ice/packing a gat" mentality that litters the bulk of commercial hip-hop, Blackalicious -- rapper Gift of Gab (Tim Parker) and his partner DJ/producer Chief Xcel (Xavier Mosley) -- is, as Gab rhymes, "prone to leave your dome blown with the poem, homes." Blazing Arrow also distinguishes the Bay Area duo from the current underground contingent of hip-hop, where all you need is to insert a few "conscious" (but ultimately trite or clichéd) nuggets into a stream-of-consciousness rap and an underground emcee is said to be "droppin' knowledge." But one of Blazing Arrow's strengths is that rapper Gab actually writes cohesive raps that stick to a particular theme, in contrast to so many hip-hop tunes that change course whenever the emcee runs out of thematic punch lines. Meantime, X's tracks are anchored in vintage soul and jazz, but with plenty of unexpected twists -- odd sound flourishes (gurgling noises, ticking clocks), breakdowns played in reverse, and crazy tempo change-ups that make you wonder if you're still on the same song. While many indie, underground, or conscious rappers devote a lot of time to pontificating on the degenerate state of hip-hop, pointing out the foibles of their gangsta/playa peers, songs on Arrow focus less on diagnosing hip-hop's diseased colon and more on Zenlike notions of faith, peace of mind, and the simple pleasures along the road of life. Blackalicious, it seems, is leading by example.

 
My Voice Nation Help
 
Miami Concert Tickets

Concert Calendar

  • August
  • Fri
    29
  • Sat
    30
  • Sun
    31
  • Mon
    1
  • Tue
    2
  • Wed
    3
  • Thu
    4
Loading...