PARIS >> SAFE SPACE INVADER
SAFE SPACE INVADER
In this era of reckoning for American policing, increases of instances racism fostered by the most incompetent president in modern times, and a global pandemic that has affected all areas of life as we once knew it, voices of dissent in entertainment have become more relevant than ever.
Enter Paris, arguably one of the most politically outspoken artists in hip-hop history, with his latest album, Safe Space Invader. Entirely self-produced and without guest features, Safe Space Invader is a brutal commentary on Black life in 2020 America, touching on the topics of police brutality, racism, gentrification, economic inequality and cancel culture, among others.
From SSI's opening track, "Bang Bang," the mood is set. With an appropriate sonic backdrop of civil unrest, Paris rages with his characteristic menacing snarl:
"Won't stop till we all eat
Beast mode, Bay niggas all beast
Spit clearly so we can all see
It's no fun if we all can't get a piece"
Its follow-up, "Why Reconcile?" asks that very question - in stark, uncompromising terms over an ominous soundscape:
"Ain't no middle ground, ain't no understandin'
Just demand fairness 'til we advancin'
Apply pressure, ride on the enemy
And why reconcile if we ain't free? Fuck peace"
And it goes on from there. "Press On" displays Paris' unbridled fury at police misconduct and the apologists who support and embolden it, and "Turned the Key" is a poignant lament of the effects of gentrification on communities of color in the USA.
However, it is Paris' first single and video, "Baby Man Hands," that truly engages and emboldens listeners disgusted with the current state of affairs brought about by the ineptitude of our Commander in Chief. It is a vicious takedown of Donald Trump and his related buffoonery, and serves as musical catharsis and affirmation for those at their wits end with his shenanigans:
"Call Trump University
Cause his fake shit brings out the worst in me
Fake news, fake views, fake telecast
Fed to the fake by the fake fulla fake facts
Fuck y’all with Kellyanne’s dick
And start pickin’ truth over fake shit
Start realizing you made this
Dimwit racist rapist president"
Continuing in the tradition of artists who can be relied upon to remain consistent with both content and dedication to musical quality, this effort by Paris pleases not only his existing loyal supporters but continues to gain him many new listeners as well.
"Best of 2020. Paris does not play. The revolutionary producer, emcee, and businessman emerged with one of the most important albums of 2020 with Safe Space Invader. Paris slaps listeners upside the head with his self-produced funky beats and scathing raps. While folks were waiting for Kendrick to give them a soundtrack to march to, Paris provided an album to fight back to. Being the moral compass is not easy. Paris not only speaks truth to power, but he also speaks it to the powerless and the pseudo powers that be. Safe Space Invader may not have been in the highest rotation, but that does not mean it doesn’t deserve to be on this list. That just means that the ills of racism continue to populate themselves within the rap music industry."
"Brutally aggressive, message-infused hip-hop...beautifully crafted..."
"Paris returns with fire tracks for the masses...another bracing collection, taking on the topics that are impacting Black life in the America of 2020...biting realism..."
"Paris reminds hip-hop fans what makes him an impenetrable force of supreme lyricism...brutal commentary on Black life in 2020 America, touching on police brutality, racism, gentrification, economic inequality and cancel culture."
"Paris serves as a force of resistance...he hammers the point that there are no safe spaces when you are Black in America – not from a global pandemic, not from police brutality, not from economic hardship and oppression, and not from the explosive racism incited by the White House. Thirty years after his debut album, Paris remains true to the cause."
"A strong album...The lyrics are as vital and fiery as they are on all his other albums, arguably even more so...an incendiary but genuine statement...there is no denying the power and urgency of this album."
"9 out of 10"...a must listen...perfectly crafted and capturing this moment in time. The album artwork speaks volumes, the raw, unedited messages of advocacy are as poignant as they are powerful – and it’s all delivered over epic production. This won’t be for everybody, but it’s made FOR everybody..."
"Paris maintains his idealism about black and brown communities who are able to operate self-contained...that’s 30 years of militant, pro-black, business-minded, tough-as-nails rap rhetoric. This artist embodies continuity and currency at the same time...fans will applaud Paris for taking a necessary stand, and he certainly gives them what they want"
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