Dead Prez

Information Age

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Brooklyn's militantly minded hip-hop duo Dead Prez practice revolution even with their discography, so while Information Age is their first official and proper album in eight years, they've haven't been inactive. Don't call it a comeback, because mixtapes, street releases, and collaborative efforts with the Outlawz (check 2006's Can't Sell Dope Forever for an outstanding reality check) have been bucking the system the whole time, but those who don't dip into the underground are in for a shock, like an electro-shock. True to its futuristic title, Information Age is like Afrika Bambaataa doing some Boogie Down Productions, or Prince when he was battling the new wave genre for dance club supremacy. Check "A New Beginning" for the musical marriage of Kraftwerk and T-Pain with some Last Poets talk on top, and with Anthony David added to the mix, the highlight gives up one of the album's plentiful, singalong hooks. Hard to believe, but the doomsday scenario laid out on "What If the Lights Go Out?" is akin to Morris Day & the Time recording a track for survivalists ("Whatever gonna be, I'm ready/Got my AR-15, I'm ready") while "Time Travel" is an even wilder mix of Drake's dreaminess (you can float on this TR!X production), Bill Cosby's style of social change ("We all talented, all gifted/Tap into this raw spirit, it's unlimited"), and some by-any-means-necessary spirit ("I'm like Tommie Smith in '68"). Then there's the key cut, "Dirty White Girl," which uses suburban honeys getting tipsy as a metaphor for addiction, and does so with an attractive, glitzy hook, as if stirring stuff up and selling out always go hand and hand. In the end, the unpredictable Information Age is like seeing Noam Chomsky popping bottles in the V.I.P. room with all the right swag on. Some will walk away confused, others will walk away in disgust, but those intrigued by the idea will find this blast of contrasts is alive and inspired. Until Howard Zinnfandel writes A People's Disco History of the United States, this one is unique.

blue highlight denotes track pick