Killah Priest

View From Masada

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With his 1998 debut, Heavy Mental, Killah Priest dropped so much knowledge that it literally seemed as if this metaphysical brother from the planet of Brooklyn was on another mental plan. Yet, even though his spacy production and spiritually enlightening wordplay went over the heads of many, at the very least it made for an interesting listening session. After a two-year hiatus the street preacher re-emerges, but in a distinctly less profound fashion, as his sophomore effort, View From Masada is neither a natural nor cohesive progression. While KP's narrative abilities are evident on the title track, his frequent and disorienting shifts between scholar ("Hard Times") and thug ("Gotta Eat") are ripe with contrast and hard to swallow. If Masada proves anything, it simply reiterates just how prevalent commercialism has become in the hip-hop culture, as no one is safe from its lure -- not even a Priest.

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