Killer Mike

PL3DGE

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The third installment in Killer Mike's I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind series finds the Atlanta rapper in top form, dropping street knowledge and social commentary as if he were Joe Budden or Pharoahe Monch, and at a rapid-fire, Twista-like pace. Putting the mass media on blast rarely comes so layered, but on the masterful "That's Life II," Mike proves he's the heir apparent to Chuck D. "Mr. O'Reilly, Mr. Limbaugh, and Mr. Hannity/How could you sell White America your insanity?" is the left jab, but the right hook, "They about as broke as the people don't want to be," comes with a Ph.D.'s worth of economic understanding, as the credit crisis, debt disasters, and real estate woes all swirl in the rapper's tsunami of truth. Hard to believe the killer cut is followed by a soulful self-help track with Mike's admission that he "used to sell it white as Paul Wall" till he started using flamboyant wrestler "Ric Flair" as his role model. This well-rounded effort also comes with some singalong choruses and cool baller anthems like "Go Out on the Town" with Young Jeezy, plus a woozy, "Indian Flute"-like highlight in "Ready Set Go" with T.I. Prime beats from the likes of No I.D., Flying Lotus, and the Beat Bullies crew plus a guest list that goes from Big Boi to Gucci Mane make the album highly desirable, but it's Mike who makes it vital, rivaling the Slaughterhouse crew when it comes to delivering grown man's hip-hop and Ice Cube when it comes to pimping while preaching.

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