Paris - Acid Reflex

By Malcolm Azania,

Paris is easily one of the most accomplished MCs and producers in the history of hip hop, and for his intelligent, political lyrics in a career spanning 18 years, he deserves the acclaim of a Chuck D or a KRS-One. Paris' lack of stardom may be due to several factors: he's head of his own label, his albums are so aggressive they've included vignettes of George HW Bush being assassinated ("Sleeping with the Enemy") and on Acid Reflex, a ballad about the mother of a slain US-Iraq War trooper who goes to shoot her congressman at his home. You can't not react to the intensity, even the sheer outrageousness, of a Paris record. For that, he's pure rock ‘n' roll. And this album, while not as musically rich as his previous, superb Sonic Jihad, is well-layered with noise-scapes harkening back to PE's Fear of a Black Planet, basslines erupting from hell ("The Trap") and a funked-up sample-track featuring the uncensored Reverend Jeremiah Wright at his rhetorical best ("The Violence of the Lambs"). Chuck D's excellent guest voice on "Winter in America," a titular homage to Gil Scott Heron, is typical of Paris's political, cultural and artistic sophistication.

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