Music News


Hip-hop music with a message in 2008 is like a biased voter. It has plenty of opinions but often can't see the bigger picture outside of whatever it's ranting about at the time. One major exception to this rule is Pretty Dark Things, the new full-length by local act Cyne. On its third disc, the two-MC, two-producer team delivers a 16-track diatribe without filler. While most "conscious" rappers gloss over the state of the union with anti-Bush rhetoric, Cyne is aware of the deeper problems weighing on society and strives to create awareness with an African fist. Each song acts like a chapter, building on a new theme and social issue. MC Akin kicks off on "Just Say No," alerting children and adults alike to "wake the fuck up" and be aware of what the radio is subversively feeding. Racism, greed, war — the block is scorching as MC Cise Star sums up the current climate over chiming percussion on "Calor." He then bats second on the autobiographical tune "The Dance," stating, "Fuck the truth; I want inner peace/Because the truth is subjective, depends on who you ask." Producers Speck and Enoch supply a perfect backdrop to complement their cohorts, with double-time rhythms, gumbo-flavor horns, and spaced-out samples allowing the MCs enough room to breathe while keeping the beat heads on edge. If they're lucky, the impact of Pretty Dark Things should last longer than the next president's term.

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Bernard Hacker