featured REVIEW

The Black Opera The Great Year Mello Music Group • 2014

If you believe that the government takes care of you. If you think Facebook knows nothing about you. Or you can exploit natural resources like there’s no tomorrow. Than this album will hit you in the face.

The world ain’t no pretty place. Gloomy, pitch black synthesizers tinge like a threatening thunder sky. Steady drums pre-echo the clicking hoofs of the Apocalypse’s horses.

‘The Great Year’ is a new chapter in The Black Opera’s fight against the world order. That sounds ambitious. But we like it: rappers who stand up and aim for nothing less than a better society.

The heroic lyrics, exponents of a history with survival and suppression, the cultural references, the religious notions. It's embodied in strong, solid songs like ‘God Speed’ (‘I’m ready to die for what I believe in’), ‘Golden Silence’ (‘Can’t sleep until my n***** come alive like Lazarus’) and ‘Character Assassination’ (‘Where is the heart without imagination? When life imitates art, that’s emancipation’).

Unlike on previous albums, there’s no trace of producers Apollo Brown, Astronote, or Nick Speed. But: Michigan’s up-and-coming composer Arjun Singh excellents in creatively inserting trap music. A tight fit with the album’s atmosphere, furthermore sketched by Tall Black Guy’s soulful piano riff, Jansport J’s African rhythms and the uncut boombap of Waajeed.

‘The Great Year’ is hip-hop with a fist.

POSTED ON 11|04|2014 by cpf

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