Wednesday, July 16, 2008
CD Review: APOSTLE - Lyrical Activism
A.P.O.S.T.L.E. - Lyrical Activism
2008, Seven Soldiers Productions
APOSTLE embraces a social consciousness in his music that is refreshing, and needed in the stale, gangsta-ridden art form known as rap music. With special guests DJ Quest, Stereo Lion and Viveca Hawkins, APOSTLE lays down a mix of lyrical and free-style wrap with heavy dub work and funk. In combining social awareness, ancient mysticism and a potent lyrical ability, APOSTLE has created a dynamic and moving record in Lyrical Activism.
One of the first things that will strike you about APOSTLE is the incredible lyrics he writes. He raises the bar on lyric poetry for rap artists everywhere, and creates a tableau of ideas that combines with the music to enmesh the listener in his thoughts and ideas. The Voice is a prime example: a free-style rap/poem that is disarmingly candid and thoroughly moving. Somewhere Between is another fine example of the APOSTLES lyric strength. In truth there is not a weak track here. The element is real yet positive, shining a light on truths we all know and perhaps bringing new understand along the way.
Other highlights include 21st Century Moor, Operation Raise The Dead and All I Know, which all feature the inestimable DJ Quest. Viveca Hawkins provides vocals for Power Of Music, Promised Land and Breath Of Life. If you're not familiar with Viveca Hawkins, now is the time to get in the know. She has a fantastic voice and is always a treat to listen to. Also make sure you check out We Are One, featuring Stereo Lion. This may well be the finest track on the album.
Just as an aside, it is refreshing to see a member of the rap community who not only preaches a positive message but lives it. APOSTLE is the founder and director of the Colorado Hip Hop Coalition, which serves youth in his home state through after school programs and assemblies. APOSTLE also currently teaches poetry classes for Youth Speaks, a national literacy program.
Lyrical Activism is real. There are no punches pull here and no half-truths, but the delivery is positive, and the lyrics show that APOSTLE is a world-class talent. If more hip-hop/rap were of this quality, I'd be more of a fan. If you're a fan of the art form, then you won't be able to put this disc down. Lyrical Activism is worthy of the Desert Island Disc Certification!
Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)
You can learn more about APOSTLE at www.7soldiersproductions.com, where you can purchase a copy of Lyrical Activism.