By Jason Kordich, Jive Magazine
There have always been two sides to the issue of violence in Hip-Hop. Either Hip-Hop is glorifying violence or it is critiquing what has become of society. T-K.A.S.H. does not tread the line. While poignantly speaking on the harsh realities of street life, he makes it clear society as a whole needs to change. One of the most haunting elements of this Paris-produced album is the sound bites from people living in the inner cities. This is no act. Their pain drenched speeches reveal a hardship that Hip-Hop, let alone the rest of the nonmusical world, fails to provide enough focus or concern for.
This is not to glorify the life. With T-K.A.S.H, likening turf war to a syndrome, clearly, this lifestyle is an illness. In the same vein as Public Enemy and Rage Against the Machine, T-K.A.S.H.'s poetry is a heartfelt demand for change. From questioning the Governor's decision to let Tookie Williams die to asking such soul searching questions as "And what if in life all you know is the East Bay", T-K.A.S.H. never bites his tongue, but asks for answers to many of the questions that people are afraid to ask. In addition to his political commentary, T-K.A.SH. takes a shot at 50 cent on "Superman." Not only does he pattern his delivery after 50 on "How We Do", but he verbally takes some jabs at the New York rapper: "When I say Lex Luther, I ain"t trying to confuse you. I am only trying to be a little smoother, but you already know who I am talking about." "Who he think he is 50 or Young Buck? I'd rather be a young Chuck." His choice of MC to model himself after shouldn't surprise anyone, and while his political passions are incredibly strong, a few of his statements are so bold that it leaves the listener feeling uncomfortable. Perhaps an unsettling feeling is necessary in order to permeate the listeners' consciousness, but his knowledge may be misunderstood as unmerited attacks rather than warnings. If you are a fan of conscious, politically driven music, this is an incredibly powerful album that never flinches in its stance.
JIVE Magazine Rating: 4.5 out of 5