Cage

Movies for the Blind

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They say making music has therapeutic value, and for the volatile Cage's sake, one hopes it's true. On his full-length solo debut, Movies for the Blind, the German-born MC comes out firing, calling out MTV and Eminem on "Escape to '88," before moving onto "Stony Lodge," where he seethes about the institution he spent 16 months in as a teenager, and "The Soundtrack," where he fantasizes about killing the stepfather who put him there. The intensity never lets up, and Movies for the Blind is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Most of the songs here are built around fantasy, and Cage's fantasies tend to be dark and angry, revolving around sex, violence, and substance abuse. Unquestionably harsh, the lyrics are rarely boring. The former Smut Peddler is a versatile, often compelling, MC, and on some tracks he's absolutely brilliant, wedding his palpable rage and accomplished lyricism to heady abstraction. With some of underground hip-hop's finest manning the boards -- DJ Mighty Mi, RJD2, EL-P, and J-Zone -- the beats are never in question. The team of producers lays down a diverse blend of styles that matches Cage's bizarre, brooding vocals from beginning to end.

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