sound advice 

The Flyer's music writers tell you where you can go.

On their 2000 debut, Let's Get Free, Florida rap duo Dead Prez (MCs Sticman and M-1) offered a template for living as detailed and unsparing as "the honorable" Elijah Muhammad himself, touching on subjects such as ethnic identity ("I'm an African"), education ("They Schools"), priorities ("It's Bigger Than Hip-Hop"), and even nutrition ("Be Healthy": "I don't eat no meat, no dairy, no sweets/Only ripe vegetables, fresh fruit, and whole wheat"). If this sounds pretty humorless, well, it is. If you want a less pedantic take on radical leftist hip-hop, then check out Dead Prez's sometime collaborators the Coup. But if you assume the group's humorlessness makes them dull, well that's another thing. Most instruction manuals don't come equipped with hard, quick-paced Southern flows and even harder gangsta-grime beats.

On Let's Get Free, Dead Prez claim to fall somewhere between N.W.A. and Public Enemy, and that about sums up their appeal: They're politically confrontational (and "conscious") in the same way that Public Enemy was but with the kind of dangerous, street-level undercurrents that informed N.W.A.

For what they're trying to do, Let's Get Free was an untoppable template, but the band's latest album, Revolutionary but Gangsta, is plenty strong in the same vein and even boasts an intense cameo from hip-hop superstar Jay-Z on a remix of the single "Hell Yeah (Pimp the System)."

Dead Prez performs at the Complex (704 Madison Avenue) Saturday, September 25th, with local openers Yagaboo, Tunnel Clones, and The Iron Mic Coalition. Advance tickets are $20 (and will go up at the door that night) and are available at the Complex, as well as at the following local businesses: the Remix, Nappi By Nature, New World Accessories, and Java, Juice, and Jazz.

It's also a big week for indie-rock fans, especially at the Hi-Tone Café. On Thursday, September 23rd, Chicago's The Detachment Kit will be joined by locals Mouse Rocket and The Circuit Benders. Then, on Monday, September 27th, Dallas-based buzz band The Secret Machines return to town, with The Color Cast. • --

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Feel the Sweet Spirit

      Long drives, long nights, and cold milk.
    • Blasts of Static

      Fat Possum set to release Grifters albums.

Blogs

Politics Beat Blog

A Temporary Truce Among Republicans

Politics Beat Blog

TRUMP — The Memphis Flyer Podcasts from the RNC #3

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Politics And The Movies 1: All The President's Men

News Blog

Coliseum Repair Cost Lower Than Previous Estimate

Politics Beat Blog

Protests Heat Up in Cleveland — RNC Day 3 (Video)

Politics Beat Blog

Trump-Cruz Rivalry Continues in Dustup Among Tennessee Delegates

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Herrington

  • Last Words

    In "Enough Said," James Gandolfini makes his last lead film role his best.
    • Sep 26, 2013
  • Masters of Sound

    New albums from two of Memphis’ most distinctive stylists.
    • Sep 19, 2013
  • Hayes Carll at the Hi-Tone

    • Sep 19, 2013
  • More »

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2016

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation