Sole & DJ Pain 1, Post American Studies

Sole & DJ Pain 1, Post American Studies (2022)

Nearly 30 years into a career highlighted by his co-founding the Anticon label and collective, Sole has evolved into an anarchist agit-rapper. His work almost solely focuses on global shitstems and his valiant attempts to live outside them, with US hegemony a prime target. He engages an ascetic micro-scene akin to Chuck D’s “Hard Knock Radio” universe, with certain social and political ideals that may or may not have basis in lived reality for most people. His latest with producer DJ Pain 1, Post American Studies, covers everything from daylight savings time to the necessity of gun defense: “I don’t like guns, but I don’t like dying,” he asserts on “6th Extinction.” The sound wavers between trap rhythm patterns and the kind of anthemic, beat-inflected Americana heard on Anti- Records albums by Sage Francis, Buck 65, The Coup (Sorry to Bother You) and B. Dolan. A highlight and example of the latter is “Black Listed,” where he raps, “I don’t want to eat the rich nor do I dream in guillotines/But every time I close my eyes it’s harder and harder to dream.” Emergency Hearts.

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