David Rolas

Mi Mundo

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Sahaj Ticotin, leader/founder of the alternative rock/post-grunge band Ra, articulated an interesting theory in 2006: he theorized that hip-hop had become the new pop-metal and that post-millennial rappers -- by obsessing over money, flashy cars, all-night parties, casual sex, and scantily clad women -- offered the sort of decadence and flamboyance during the 2000s that Poison, Warrant, and all the other '80s hair bands offered before Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, and their followers pushed rock in a much more introspective direction. Indeed, there was certainly no shortage of hedonism in hip-hop in 2006, and there wasn't a surplus of younger MCs who wanted to emulate the heavily sociopolitical aesthetic that Chuck D, KRS-One, Ice-T, and Paris were known for in the late '80s and early '90s. But one rapper who has offered a healthy balance of fun and serious messages in the 21st century is David Rolas, whose third album, Mi Mundo (My World), can -- depending on the particular track -- be anything from escapist to serious-minded. This 2005 recording/2006 release has its share of party jams, among them "Morena" (which features Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas), "L.A. 2 N.Y.," and "Hey Mami!" But the Mexican-American MC offers some deep-thinking sociopolitical reflections as well, especially on "Quitame el Dolor." Rolas speaks of the playa/baller lifestyle, but he also raps about things like socioeconomic challenges in el barrio -- and most of the time, he does it in Spanish (although Mi Mundo has some English lyrics as well). Musically, Mi Mundo reflects Rolas' multicultural outlook; this is an album in which G-funk beats of the Dr. Dre/Snoop Dogg/Warren G variety are likely to interact with elements of regional Mexican music, cumbia, or salsa. Mi Mundo isn't quite as consistent as Rolas' two previous albums (2003's Nuestra Vida and 2004's Tatuajes), but overall, this 68-minute CD is a likable addition to his catalog.

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