Monday, March 19, 2007



Politics is a dangerous game in hip-hop. It’s easy to grab a hold of the anti-everything bandwagon while it’s still trendy, but much harder to achieve sincereness, or, more importantly, actually resonate with the people amongst infinite other forms of propaganda. El-P’s follow up to 2002’s excellent Fantastic Damage finally arrives in stores tomorrow (3/20) and manages to up the ante on its predecessor. I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead is a dense, masterfully crafted album that approaches its social/political messages from different, slightly subversive angles on every song. The Brooklyn bred producer/rapper creates futuristic hip-hop rooted in the classic b-boy style with lyrics just as dense as the music. "EMG" (Everything Must Go) rides a high pitched cowbell over booming percussion. The beat is fairly elementary with its spacious orch stabs and claps, but check El-producto’s slightly less straightforward commentary on our culture-for-sale society: "I wanna sell you a dream/I wanna see you come apart at the seams." "Drive" chronicles our youth’s quest for freedom and our reckless ability to destroy on the path in between. But not all of it seems to be our fault, maybe it’s just a natural rebellion to the environment we live in ("C’mon Ma, can I borrow the keys?/My generation is carpooling with doom and disease"). I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead may mark the return of "real" hip-hop, something that has been debatably M.I.A. for a while now. One can only hope that this is the spark, and not its last dying flame.

Download >>EMG

Download >>Drive

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