Hip-hop and politics can be at their most effective when they are less overt than the dog-and-pony shows that are both political campaigns and "political raps," high in octane yet low on long-lasting fulfillment. Chicago's Capital D might want to change his name to Capitol D after the release of this collection of politically charged yet musically challenging cuts, fearlessly taking on the day's issues with a level-headed delivery that derives strength from consistency rather than aggression -- a lesson that should definitely be adopted by foreign policymakers. Starting with "The Awakening," D insists that "Imperialist said the sun never sets/But I bet terror is what terror begets" before calling out the three evil Bs (Bush, Blair, and Bin Ladin) for their similarities on "Start the Revolution" ("Yeah, that madman's rich"). One might hope that D would switch things up a bit. This is, after all, the MC who composed a concept movie on his last album, Writer's Block (The Movie). But with track titles like "Vent" and "Toy Soldiers," it's clear that he stays on target like a rebel pilot going after the Death Star. But as an observant essayist recently pointed out, if CNN were Star Wars, then our current society would be the Imperial Fleet. Thank goodness for the Rebel Alliance and Capital D.
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AllMusic Review by Joshua Glazer
feat: Nicole Mitchell