You may not be ready to listen to this album… It might just be too hard for you to listen to… this album will stir you to your core and it will make you feel uncomfortable, yet uplifted… it will make you want to listen but not to hard… it will draw you close to listen and push you away to think… because while the words and lyrics are beautifully crafted and thoughtfully put together into well timed and well formed rhyme… it’s confrontational… not in a way that attacks… but to make you think… and you might not be ready to actually think about the art you’re listening to yet. Just sayin’
Right from the start Propaganda lays it down on the opening track called ‘Don’t listen to me’ where he opens this albums account with an honest viewing of his life’s credentials as as a human and as an artist as he says “Apparently I don’t know that much, I just know the Gospel and good hip-hop, I’m a pretty simple dude, all I’ve got is my all, and I promise to give you that”… where else do you get that sort of honesty on ANY record let alone a hip-hop album that are usually filled with people who will tell you how great their life is while you watch them crumble in the media. Propaganda walks the talk.
This is not your usual hip-hip album, and once you’ve listen to it you’ll be forever grateful of that fact. Unlike other hip-hop albums that you listen to in the background, you won’t love this album until you are listening to it as if you’re sitting over the other side of the table from Propaganda… listening to his stories, as he unpacks his thought gracefully and carefully… but Propaganda’s not timid, he’ll lay it down… and you will be caught off guard…
Propaganda’s style is relaxed… and sit somewhere between ‘spoken word’ and traditional hip-hip and it’s both poetic and aggressive… and it’s a great mixture as it keeps you fully engaged…
While on the subject of the mix, the beats and music have been put together by Beautiful Eulogy, who add their unique mix of electronic acoustic blues based music… it’s organic and is a perfect mix for an album like Propaganda’s.
There is too much on the album to pull out just by itself, however… every now and then there will be a phrase or a line that will just catch you off guard and you’ll HAVE to think about it. Propaganda doesn’t play with words like some common hip-hop artist, this stuff it top shelf… it’s crafted… and it’s honest… and it’s powerful.
Propaganda knows his history and and on tracks like ‘Precious Puritans’ he slams knowledge on the table as if to say “now here’s the facts what’s your next move?” as he beautifully and excellently pleads
“Your precious Puritans were not perfect, you romanticize them as if they were inerrant, as if the skeletons in their closet was pardoned due to their hard work and tobacco growth, as if abolitionists were not racist and just pro-union, as if God only spoke to white boys with epic beards, you know Jesus didn’t really look like them paintings, that was just Michelangelo’s boyfriend.”
You might not be ready for this album, because if you buy this album just to listen to it as any other hip-hop album, one day you’ll find yourself having to confront some issues that propaganda has laid down for you to consider… HOWEVER… if you buy this album to think, like a book or a conversation with a close friend talking about of tough issues then you’ll come out enjoying this album… rewinding… reviewing… re-listening… rediscovering.
Treat this album like a friend… and learn to listen… wrestle with some of the words that Propaganda has to say… I’m not saying take it as Gospel, I’m just saying try to understand… and when you do then you’ll find it is indeed ‘Excellent’