Public Enemy Featuring Paris, Rebirth of a Nation

Public Enemy Featuring Paris, Rebirth of a Nation (2006)

This is something of a chop session led by Paris, the outspoken Oakland radical. Many of the songs don’t really feature PE, just a quick verse from Chuck D.; and the deep, rippling bass grooves are a hallmark of Paris’s sound, making it as much his album as theirs. With Immortal Technique, the Conscious Daughters (remember “Funky Expedition?”), dead prez, MC Ren, and many others joining in, the discourse on Rebirth of a Nation is half conspiracy theories, half strident media analysis, all delivered with vitriol. “Providing the antidote to dope, Interscope, and fake gangsta quotes,” raps Chuck D. on “Rise.” The targets include President George W. Bush (“U.S. government tellin’ hella lies/It’s evident when you look in this president’s devil eyes,” raps Paris on “Can’t Hold Us Back”) and U.S. soldiers (“These house niggas go fight in Iraq/Crying to they momma now they wanna come back/Shouldn’t of took your black ass in the service,” says Ren on “Hard Truth Soldiers”). There aren’t any standout tracks, but Paris’ production is slick and consistent enough to keep your ears stuck to the speaker, waiting for the next verbal outrage. Guerilla Funk.

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