All posts by lschwartz

Review: dead prez’s “Information Age”

Like many others [I presume], I was very excited for dead prez’s new album.  Eight years waiting; the anticipation was at an apex.  Over fall break, a like-minded friend and I eagerly gave it a listen, and were absolutely baffled.  “Could this really be dead prez?” we asked each other.

dead prez – A New Beginning

If there was a music award purely for the element of surprise, dead prez would get my unequivocal vote.

Though they still retain their socio-political messaging, M-1 and stic.man have chosen to rap their wisdom over dance-pop Top 40 beats –> an interesting artistic choice, but one that is quite astonishing and potentially alienating to their fan base.  Shock value aside, it ultimately detracts from their profound poetics.  True to their reputation, they created another thought-provoking album, but instead of pondering the school-to-prison pipeline, it is equally tempting to ask: “is that a sample from Ke$ha’s new single?”

I should note: not every track is synth-heavy and reminiscent of strobe lights, but even so, the sharp and eloquent lyrics so signifying of dead prez have lost their edge.  M-1 and stic.man seemed to have stepped back from unabashed radicalism to embody a slightly more passive sage-like role.  Instead of encouraging their listeners to rob pizza delivery boys, they instead advise love, patience, spiritual renewal, and perseverant education.

“Through the course of life, you gon taste some humble pie”

dead prez – Learning Growing Changing

Definintely a message worth sending, but still an intriguing twist of tongue for M-1 and stic.man.

If you consider yourself a fan of dead prez, I would give this album a listen [or two].  The first time may be difficult and awkward, but I have found that Information Age is slowly growing on me.  Once over the initial shock of the pseudo-rave beats, one can easily find the provocative politik that endears, engages, and excites dead prez’s audience.  The vegan diet, the climate crisis, and the capitalist commercialization of Western religion all make an appearance.  Though the question remains: are dead prez still Revolutionary But Gangsta?  It is up to you to decide.

 

– Lindsey

A little PSA for your soul

How?

Hey, it’s midterms, you’re stressed, I’m stressed, we’re stressed.  But it’s okay, because we’ll get through it.  De-stress with a little dance party, maybe, do some air guitar and then sit back down and triumph over those midterms like the rock star you are!

00: Stressed Out – A Tribe Called Quest

01: Carry On – Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young

02: Stand By Me – Ben E. King

03: You Are the Sunshine // Superstition – Stevie Wonder

04: Bold as Love – Jimi Hendrix

05: Stand By Me – Ben E. King

06: Sir Duke – Stevie Wonder

07: And When I Die – Laura Nyro

08: What a Wonderful World – Joey Ramone

– lindsey

Fall is Here, Hear the Yell

 

corn and grain, corn and grain

all that falls shall rise again

– Wiccan harvest chant

Yes, it is October- not quite the beginning of the academic year, not too close to winter, but the remaining obstacle between us and fall break.  The change in the seasons and resulting hibernation//death of many fauna may sometimes cause feelings of disorientation [not to be confused with Disorientation] and perhaps a little gloom.   But here is a playlist of the good things: staying healthy, a little cheer, and some pensive tracks to help y’all feel well and re-orient with the times       —->stay well, friends, because it’s all part of the cycle of the seasons.

01: Be Healthy – Dead Prez

02: Tomorrow Comes Today – Gorillaz

03: Apple Blossom – White Stripes

04: Stop Your Sobbing – the Pretenders

05: You Don’t Have To Cry – Crosby, Stills, & Nash

06: I’m Only Sleeping – the Beatles

07: 9 Ghosts I – nine inch nails

08: Playground Love (Vibraphone Version) – Air

 

lindsey