Creating catchy acronyms and singing snippets of popular songs are necessary skills for any spoken-word artist. Fortunately, Profet (Politikal Revolutionary Orating For an Educated Tomorrow) Yusuf Malik Shabazz, who peppers his poetry with bars from Bob Marley, can do both. On his latest disc, State of Emergency, he begins his lyrical manifesto on the sad status of world affairs with the line "Welcome to my mind." Later, in "Drip" he seems to qualify this invitation when he says, "Hope I'm not too deep."

Well, quiet as it's kept, we've heard a lot of this new-world-order/police-state/9-11 conspiracy stuff; even mainstream rapper Jadakiss is spewing it. But what Jadakiss doesn't do is take it a step further and connect 9/11 to Christopher Columbus's "discovery" of America. In "History X," Profet contends with the monolithic foe named "They": "They told [us] that Columbus discovered America and Saddam had weapons of mass destruction." This "They" pops up repeatedly. The hook on "They Don't Give A Fuck About Us" has a nice juxtaposition. There's a sample from Mariah Carey performing the national anthem, singing "Oh say can you see," then Profet interrupts her, finishing the sentence with "that they don't give a fuck about us."

Given, dichotomous logic is part of the spoken word genre. What makes Profet legit -- aside from his Five Percenter connections, Nuyorican upbringing, and a stint as a Marine -- is his undeniable prowess as a poet.


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