Saturday, June 20, 2009

WireTap Magazine: ...A Peaceful Riot... Album Review

peaceful riot

Album Review:

Upon throwing on the new Bambu album A Peaceful Riot, I was caught up in thinking about the oxymoron that pervades the title. Is it possible to have a "peaceful riot"? In this intentional contradiction, we notice the recurring themes in the new album, a collaboration EP with Bay Area producer/medical student, Fatgums.

The past few months have seen a collective bubbling of blood due to police abuse, none more evident than the response to the injustice against Oscar Grant. In "Gunslinger II" Bambu recounts a nephew’s beating at the hands of cops and the struggle he faced in how to react. A sample from the film Young Guns and a western inspired vibe for two gun related songs, offer a debate regarding vigilante justice when the police are not doing or are abusing their job. In “Strapped,” a track that utilizes Biggie’s resonating voice, Bam declares, "Now it’s our turn to test, your little bullet proof vest."

“Good Clothes” shows the rapper’s internal battle with staying freshly dipped, while being conscious of the politics of clothing. It is through storytelling that Bam captures the difficulties of day to day living, as in “Listen” and “Won’t Walk Away.” An interlude with audio playback from the exiled Pilipino scholar, Jose Maria Sison, is a call to action on the dangers of state funded terrorism.

A short project, with only eight full tracks, this album is Bambu’s most aesthetically consistent album. Fatgums' sample-heavy production creates a more soul-inspired flavor than previous albums. While listeners aren’t told how to create a peaceful riot, Bambu gives his fans truthful and human lyrics. It is in these human lyrics where he reveals internal contradictions that he sets himself apart from many other rappers stuck on portraying a false persona.



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