By Scott Frampton, CMJ New Music Report
Chances are everyone who's been within earshot of the controversy surrounding Sleeping With The Enemy has already made up their mind about what this record means and sounds like. While lefty liberals can bitch and moan about censorship and the post-"Cop Killer" chill factor, the one thing that's truly regrettable about this second Paris LP is that very few will realize just how intelligent and well thought-out this record really is. Paris ain't no gangsta with a trash mouth and a grudge against a Bush-led white society; these 16 tracks comprise a violent political manifesto that is part product of Paris' UC Berkeley economics degree and part reverence for the methods of the Black Panthers. With basslines thicker than his FBI dossier, Paris' sound also leans far less on played gangsta samples (save for Iiberal use of George Clinton's "Atomic Dog" panting) than he does pop-inspired grooves and vintage old-school (check the 808 drum machine) beats. It is, however, the politics and violence that will garner the most attention. No matter how catchy the piano line in "Coffee, Donuts and Death" is, it's the "eye for on eye" vehemence that will make the evening news. SIeeping With The Enemy is an aptly named record, for no hip-hop record since PE's first bomb has made such an impact with such complete end effective arguments. Other top cuts: "Bush Killa" and "Thinka 'Bout It."