Seth P. Brundel

Devil's Pawn

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There's no doubting Seth P. Brundel's political edge, having dropped rhymes for Miami's dissident Beta Bodega Coalition and with the lyrically activist Algorithm crew. And on this first full-length solo release, Brundel isn't letting up the pressure, checking the OP (original pundit) on "1/2 Way There" where he declares "Algorithm's Public Enemy with two Chuck Ds." But it's a shame Brundel's delivery doesn't carry the same vocal force of the best conscious MCs, instead taking on the more typical everyman flow of most underground hip-hop. The beats carry their own mournful tone, edging on the dramatic low point that cries out for a heroic denouement that never arrives. It's all very cool and proper for those who carry journals and fliers for social conscious events in their backpacks, but if there is to be any force behind those words, Brundel would do best to try to sound a little more worked up about it. James Brown told ya to "Say it loud!" and everyone remembers when Chuck D called hip-hop "the black CNN." If that is the case, than this album is more like the free newsprint pamphlet sitting at the entrance of your favorite indie record store. Chock full of righteous information, but unlikely to be picked up and read by anyone who doesn't already know the score.

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