Paris: Sonic Jihad

By Ken Capobianco, The Boston Globe

Paris has been one of the most diligent and militant of hip-hop MCs throughout his career, and this comeback CD is one of his most uncompromising efforts. Like Dead Prez, Public Enemy, and Mr. Lif, Paris looks at the daily news feed that the federal government offers up and finds conspiracy, deceit, and repression. Here he decries the erosion of civil liberties after Sept. 11 as well as American imperialism throughout the world. He confronts the continued police harassment of young African-American men, rampant mind control by media outlets, and sellout by most mainstream rappers as they search out the bling instead of justice for their people. It makes for especially provocative listening, and people who don't agree with the Oaktown MC could accuse him of being overly paranoid. Paris would say that those who don't see it his way are burying their heads in the sand. As he says in the mock-Adult Advisory on the CD packaging, "warning, contains hard truth." Listen and make up your own mind. The music is throwback G-Funk with ominous keyboard lines bolstering big, beefy bass lines, and Paris's flow, reminiscent of Rakim, is pure liquid. This "Sonic Jihad" hits hard and forces you to rethink what we accept as reality and second-guess just what the truth is during these uneasy days in the world.

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