By Soren Baker, The L.A. Times
(3.5) stars (out of 4)
It's unlikely anyone has been enjoying President Bush's recent approval ratings slide more than Paris. The fiery Bay Area rapper's fifth album contains several selections that indict the Bush administration for everything from the 9/11 terrorist attacks to duping minorities into joining a military that he feels exploits them.
"What Would You Do?," in which Paris argues that Bush has benefited by the war on terrorism, might even cause some Bush supporters to reexamine their position, while "Sheep to the Slaughter" criticizes the media for what he sees as one-sided coverage.
But politics isn't Paris' only concern. He blasts the materialistic, misogynistic bent of contemporary rap on "Ain't No Love" (which features an impressive guest verse by underrated rapper Kam) and "Lay Low." Indeed, this powerful 16-cut collection could be justifiably compared to the most stinging, thought-provoking music of such better-known rap acts as Public Enemy and Ice Cube.
Obviously influenced by Parliament and Funkadelic, much of Paris' self-produced music has a decidedly funky feel, even though it's often sinister too. By making music that moves the mind as well as the body, Paris completes his mission.