Review: Dead Prez

Dead Prez
““Lets get free””

Revolutionary. Insightful. Scary. Against the Grain. Honest. Saddening. These are all words that describe the debut album from the duo from Brooklyn, Stic Man and M1. Originally from the South, their lead single “Its Bigger than Hip Hop” reeks from a commercial beat that seems straight from the Cash Money camp. BUT WAIT. Listen to the content of the lyrics. Sure, its catchy, sure it will be easy to dance to, but when you listen to what these two are saying, it is quite clear this is not such a commercial joint after all. The message is scary, but it is brutally honest coming from 2 black men who feel that the system does not work for them and openly encourage some form of revolution to gain the rights they feel they deserve.  “They Schools” is another track that makes me think about our current system. Claming that the schools cant teach black people anything, because they are being taught to work for the white man and in his world to build up the white man’s wealth and leaving blacks and other minorities behind with very few crumbs. Sound crazy? If it weren’t for white men, would we feel justified paying over 120,000 dollars for a ‘higher education’? Is college worth that much? Is grad school worth another $120,000? NO. But the white man’s system ensures that is what the price will be, severely limiting the ability of black people, who are much poorer to due the injustices of the white man in the past, to go to college and better themselves. “We Want Freedom” and “Police State” are similar tracks, with the two making heartfelt calls the more injustices in society, reflecting on the control of the white man over everyone, leaving other people to rely on religion and hoping to get out of their situation; unable to do anything else because of the tight lock the system has on them. Don’t believe anything is this review? Listen to “Enemy Lines” (Yeah, I know, if you don’t like the review you aren’t rushing to buy the tape). It gives 2 stories about families and their struggles within the system. A man locked up because he was a Black Panther, another in jail because of murders he committed to feed his family. This duo makes a startling debut, only because I am surprised that record execs let this album out. It is extremely provocative and controversial, but not all the content is directed as hatred. “Mind Sex” and “Be Healthy” are two tracks that do not deal with opposition to the system, but rather topics like having an intellectual conversation without being sexual, using mental stimulation opposed to physical, and eating properly, not succumbing to the temptations of Big Macs and Whoppers.