Paris, Westcoast conscious/gangsta rapper, gives us a new album of anti-government goodness. Not the best rapper out there, but the man takes hip-hop in an entirely different direction from the mainstream, which makes him very refreshing.
1) Ave Bushani
Just media clips of people trashing the government n shit.
2) Field Nigga Boogie
Basically Paris saying black power, ***** authority. Hard bassline, dark beat, good track.
3) Sheep to the Slaughter
Likin the piano-influenced string beat. Starts off with clips of protestors, gets a little overboard with one guy callin him a “mad dog killer.” On this track Paris’ lack of flow shows; trashing a lotta whites, he may come off as a bit of a racist unless you understand what he’s talking about.
4) Spilt Milk
Paris dons the monicre “P Dog” for what is essentially a simplistic, hard, actiony beat; love the Reggae-type hook.
5) Tear Shit Up
Basically a hard drumline, Paris flows fast for a change and calls for the people to raise up and revolutionize, with some tight lines.
Sampling an old song with a woman singing “freedom,” this track isnt very imaginitive, beat-wise or topic-wise. Paris doesn’t shine here but he’s not bad, either.
7) Ain’t No Love
A cut with a 70’s type feel, probably Paris’ most lyrically complex track. Whoever comes on next, though, does come off as racist.
8) Lay Low
About hard life in the ghetto, Paris calling for people in the hood to take responsibility and watch out for their kids, themselves and eachother. Lovin the piano-thick beat and jazzy hook, and Paris spits it laid-back; one of my favorite tracks.
9) Life Goes On
A very 2pac-ish cut, Paris seems to majorly borrow/bite (depending on how you look at it) Makaveli’s style on here. At least he does a very good job of it. Good if you like 2pac.
10) You Know My Name
Good beat, but this is Paris at his most “gangsta” throughout the album. He doesnt pull it off perfectly, but still better than a lot of the rappers around.
My least favorite track; Paris really pours it on, lots of exaggeration in here.
Completely different from the last track, one of my favorites. Paris spits a story about the military’s deceptions over a jazzy beat, with a sinister hook.
13) Agents of Repression
Same deal as Ave Bushani.
14) What Would You Do?
Starts with a cleverly put together “speech” by George Bush on the “war on the american people.” Essentially accusing the government of setting up 9/11, the beat is complex for a change and I like the sung hook.
15) How We Do
More of the same, nothin really special; same-ol’ same-ol’ topics are gettin really boring–but he fact that they’re boring this late in the album is an accomplishment. However it does give me the feeling of fueling the race relations fire with lines like “dont forget/they made us slaves/gave us AIDs and raped us/”
16) Freedom (Last Cell Remix)
Basically the same as the OG, except Dead Prez and Public Enemy step in to liven up the cut.
Rating: 2.7/5 Of all the conscious/gangsta combination rappers of his type like Dead Prez and Public Enemy, Paris is my favorite. This album however gets boring after a while–not surprising, considering he tried to make 15 tracks and a remix out of 3 or 4 topics. There are times when Paris pours the “blame whitey” game on pretty thick (accusing rich whites of creating AIDs? Cmon now) but there are also times where he keeps it fresh. Paris has great potential, but could still learn something from Talib Kweli and Mos Def.