REVIEW: Dead Prez - "Revolutionary But Gangsta Grillz"

In the year 2000 I was a little different than I am now: I was about 9 inches shorter, wore clothes about 3 sizes larger, and listened to whatever the radio put on my audio plate. Not to say that I didn't have good CD's in the disc man (oh yeah kids, we were pre-iPod in 2000), 2pac, Biggie, Jay-Z, and Eminem were in HEAVY rotation. I'm saying I didn't yet know how to dig for good music. Then the single biggest event in my musical history happened: I lost my whole CD wallet on the school bus! My 30 favorite albums gone in an instant, though luckily Dre's 2001 was in my CD player at the time, so it was spared oblivion.

Weeks later on a trip to the mall with the pops we stopped at Sam Goody and he told me I could buy any CD I wanted. Perusing the racks I came across a curious album cover: a group of African children raising their arms in the air, but with a large sticker covering what they held up in their hands. For those who know, this album was Dead Prez's first, Let's Get Free, and the sticker covered a whole mess of rifles in these children's hands. Now I say, with very little hyperbole, owning nearly only this album CHANGED MY LIFE. The quality of the music and  lyrics within gave me the desire to discover better music than what Clear Channel had to offer, I would not be the me that I am without this album. Still one of my favorites, along with their follow up's RBG: Revolutionary But Gangsta and Pulse of the People, which are all timeless hip hop classics and you should go PURCHASE them at your earliest convenience.

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Since then, M1 and Stic Man released a new mixtape entitled Revolutionary But Gangsta Grillz, hosted by the ubiquitous DJ Drama. 
They drop their signature brand of lyricism full of social and political ideals and no apologies over some of the most popular industry beats from the past year or so.  On "Far From Over" they use Drake's hit "Over", and acknowledge that many of DJ Drama's fans might not know who they are: "I know way too many people here right now listenin to this mixtape, like 'who the fuck are y'all?'" My favorite part of the track is the second verse, when M1 reworks Drake's line, who reworked, M1's line off of "Hip Hop", which in turn was a Bob Marley line "one thing bout music when it hit you feel no pain", and shouts out October's Own: "still ahead of the pack, ask Drake, he studied my raps, matter fact, I give him dap..."

On "Malcolm, Garvey, Huey" they celebrate three of their favorite black American revolutionaries over Lloyd Bank's "Beamer, Benz or Bentley", I'll let them speak for their selves while you watch the video:

The most common criticism I hear of the duo is that they are a little one dimensional; redundant in their revolution. Perhaps, but to that I'd let them rebut with "The Beauty Within", flipping B.o.B.'s smash "Nothing On You" into an anthem for women with natural beauty. Check it out, I'ma put this one on a summer mixtape for my lady:

I'll be bumpin this all summer, despite the mediocre mix/master job and Drama's unnecessary yelling at odd moments, you know how mixtape DJs do. Download it and share the revolution with your loved ones.