Funking corrupt cops


Guerrilla Funk
Priority Records
Planet of Da Apes
Da Lench Mob
Priority Records
Reviewed by Sean Moysey
This review is very late and I'm in trouble with the reviews editor. However being late has its advantages. I've been able to listen to these albums numerous times and, while listening, have noted that Guerrilla Funk isn't on the JJJ play list. I can't understand why. Musically Guerilla Funk is addictive. The "repeat" button is appropriate for this CD. Lyrically it is a personal exposition of what is happening to African-Americans. The album "booklet" contains a black consciousness-raising essay and includes a fascinating list of books, lectures and videos. The so-called information about Guerilla Funk provided by the record company tries to "talk like the street", portraying Paris as tough and hardened. Their bad attempt to mimic "street" language is closer to a Funky Squad script than a promotion of the album. Guerilla Funk is smooth. Issues raised on the tracks are about murder, police violence, drugs and gang warfare, but the style is far from the pumping, aggressive artists like Public Enemy or Ice T. It sounds funny, but Guerilla Funk is an album you can sing along with. And the melody stays with you when the album is finished. Tracks like "Its Real", "Back in the Days", and "Whatcha See?" are good examples. As far as content is concerned my favourite tracks are "Bring it to Ya" and "Back in the Days". "Bring it to Ya" features the rapping of The Conscious Daughters, who are tough! The song is about "paying back" the police for their brutality and corruption. It is a sophisticated version of the theme taken up by Body Count in "Cop Killer" — that is, shooting back at the police. "Back in the Days" examines the change in attitude experienced by African-Americans dealing with "homeboys" killing each other. Any killing at first evokes outrage, but as the deaths mount people become concerned with the dead people they know rather than all of those killed. Sadly there isn't much to say about Planet of Da Apes. To be honest it is boring. I like "Chocolate City" only because it parallels a piece by the same name performed by '70s funk group Parliament. I wish I could like Planet of Da Apes because I can see the intentions of Da Lench Mob. Intentions, however, are not enough. Listening to Planet of Da Apes is a chore, no matter your frame of mind.

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