M-1, of the Floridian alternative, political Hip Hop duo dead prez realised a solo album in 2006 entitled "Confidential". This release acted as a short break after having two in-your-face albums from the pair in which they shocked listeners with their original take on black oppression, and here M-1 chooses to lighten their image with music for more generic Hip Hop fans.
1. "One Side" (Intro)
To start things off you have a track which unites dead prez as stic.man joins M-1 in what is a big starter. It is something heavy to get you prepared for what is to come in the rest of the thing. I felt that it was the best way that this album could have got underway as it reminds you why you will have initially got into M-1's material.
3. "Land, Bread & Housing"
If you are aware of dead prez' material, then this title for the track really isn't a surprise at all as much of what they rap about shows that this Florida duo have lived to see people at their worst in poverty-stricken conditions where all that matters are the essentials. It is highly emotive and brings you down as he flows in a sombre tone to convey the conditions here.
4. "For You"
I have to say that when I heard what I got on this one, this is when I realised that this album was definitely going to be different to the type of thing which you heard on "Let's Get Free" and "RBG" in that this one has him just rapping about general things which people don't really have to put much effort into understanding, as when there is too much thought-provoking lyrical content, that's when people switch off.
This, the eponymous track from the album shows to a greater degree how strongly thins album contrasts from anything which you would expect to get from dead prez, a duo who pride themselves on being a mix between N.W.A and Public Enemy as this is a track based around an R&B hook, and so it is very soft, and I didn't really like this because of my expectations towards their music.
6. "Love You Can't Borrow"
On this one you can tell that there has been a significant shift in it all as you hear the production take a turn towards the jazzy side and at first you just take it as something to show M-1's diversity, but it isn't until Q-Tip jumps on it when you realise why thing have been altered in such a way to cater for his rather specific specifications for beats.
7. "5 Elements"
This is one of few on the album where it is M-1 on his own doing things, and alone you can tell that the quality leels seem to drop, and although I wouldn't say that it is a significant drop in standards, it certainly isn't as heavy as the other things that you get on here. The flows in here seem quite forced as he tries to get a message through more than he attempts to make it a well-constructed rap.
8. "Gunslinger" (Lude)
9. "Comrade's Call"
You have another well-known name on this one as Styles P joins him and with the D-Block member, it gives M-1 a chance to do a track which he really wouldn't have got away with in dead prez as he does some straight Gangsta rap in the East Coast style. It is a hood banger, and a tune for the streets to show that on this album he is aiming to get everyone wanting to get in on it.
10. "Down Put Down Your Flag"
This is a rough track in which you have M-1 showing that he is able to appeal to the type of rap fans who are into their trunk-busting bass-laden stuff, but he uses this production in order to push forward a track which these people will probably be able to relate to as the rhymes refer to how you must always fight for what you represent, and not ignore this when faced with opposition.
11. "The Beat"
You need not care about anything else which is found on this track as the recording is just "The Beat", and nothing else about it matters at all, it is hardcore, and shows that M-1 is letting his guard down as he just does some club rap to get people moving. It is unexpected and of the highest quality in what it is able to do.
12. "Been Through"
On this track you have a straight banger as you find that you have M-1 coming with some rhymes which take into account the origins of the conscious Hip Hop with a little words from Melle Mel before you find that he is joined by Wu-Tang's Ghostface Killah, who rips through the heavy beats that they choose to do things on top of. It is a strong tune, with lots to enjoy within it.
13. "'Til We Get There"
This was the lead single from the album and it finds him working with both K'naan, and Stori James in a tune which samples classic early nineties R&B. However I can't say that I was really feeling it as much as a lot of the other's which you find on here as it is sounds too much like an attempt to push you into the conscious rap by focusing on the potential positives which could come of a result of taking their advice.
14. "Too Smart" (Outro)
It is important to note that this really doesn't sod like a dead prez album, as many would expect, as M-1 goes about things in a way which support the mainstream trends for Hip Hop, but does them in a way so that they fit in with the dead prez image. The only times where it is obviously them is with the interludes which tell the story Black Panther of Assata Shakur. On the whole it is strong stuff, and a good alternative release.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 One Side (The Anthem) - Dead Prez Presents M1
2 Early - Dead Prez Presents M1
3 Land, Bread & Housing - Dead Prez Presents M1, My Momma
4 For You - Dead Prez Presents M1, Scrap Daddy
5 Confidential - Dead Prez Presents M1, Raye
6 Love You Can't Borrow - Dead Prez Presents M1, Q-Tip, Cassandra Wilson
7 5 Elements - Dead Prez Presents M1
8 Gunslinger - Dead Prez Presents M1
9 Comrade's Call - Dead Prez Presents M1, Styles P
10 Don't Put Down Your Flag - Dead Prez Presents M1, Young Dre
11 The Beat - Dead Prez Presents M1, Bang Double
12 Been Through - Dead Prez Presents M1, Raye, Ghostface
13 'Til We Get There - Dead Prez Presents M1, K'naan, Stori James
14 Too Smart - Dead Prez Presents M1
Disc #2 Tracklisting
1 One Side (The Anthem)
3 Land, Bread & Housing
4 For You
6 Love You Can't Borrow
7 5 Elements
9 Comrade's Call
10 Don't Put Down Your Flag
11 The Beat
12 Been Through
13 'Til We Get There
14 Too Smart
16 'Til We Get There