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"RBG" is the second album from the Florida Hip Hop duo of stic.man and M-1, collectively known as dead prez (which should be in lowercase). The initials "RBG" stand for many things, all of which are given in the album sleeve. These include "Revolutionary But Gangsta" (what the album is commonly known as) as well as Real Big Guns; Real Black Girls; Ready to Bust Gats; Reaching Bigger Goals; Read 'Bout Garvey; Rappers Be Gassed; Red Black Green; Rider's Basic Guide and Rollin Big Ganja. All of which express what dead prez represent when they rap, in a style which combines their miliant style which could be compared to that of Public Enemy, but with the more common Gangsta Rap version of Hip Hop thrown in too.
1. Don't Forget Where U Came From (Intro)
2. Walk Like a Warrior
Here is a motivational track by the group, and here they make you want to mak a chnge. I felt that stic.man's method of rapping quickly is extremly well-done as it encourages you to listen more carefully to the lyrics, and once youre undercovered the meanings behind some of what is said, you find yourself even more worked-up and willing to take action aganst the treats wich dead prez explain.
3. I Have a Dream, Too
I would have expected some clips of Martin Luther King at thes start of this track by looking at the title, but then again dead prez are never conventioal, and although it's obvious that they are workign from MLKs "I Have A Dream " speech, they are taking a new angle on it and expressing their dream in a different form; as rappers from the ghettoes and how their version should be just as valid as it takes into account the current issues.
However I didn't feel as involved in this as before as they sounded a little too extreme in this with lots of gun shots being heard throughout, hinting on them wanting to kill all of those who represnt the opposition, and at times you could even say that they are being racist towards whites.
The title should really be writn "D-O-W-N" asit isn't an abbrieviation, it's them simply askign if you are donw. By this, dead prez are asking whether a person is willing to do whatever is required in order to carry out what ever is needed. usually the phrase 'Are you donw?" would be used in gangs, if this makes it easier to understand, but here they want to know if the people are willing to marhc with them in their revolution againgst the White House, which is always their target. it my also be a warnign to snitches you claim to be 'down' with a gang, but tell the police what they have done somewhere down the line.
5. Hell Yeah
This is the hit single from the album, but |I don't expect you to have heard it. However if you enjoyed "Hip Hop" off thier deubt, then you are bound to feel the same towards this. The dark bassline which plagues their debut single returns here as the take influnce from their surroundings in Florida, where it's all about the b-line, and come with a bass-lead track which lends itself perfectly to their fast rhymes.
The raps focus upon 'pimpin' the system' and by this they mean making the most out of the situation you are in, no matter how bad. You have to watch the video to it to really get a sense of what they mean, and the images which the bring sheds light on an underworld of the black community after a middle-classed white family takes a wrong turn and get jacked, from here their vidoe camera tells the rest of the story.
This is a highly emotive piece by dead prez as they speak on the reality of life on the streets as they see it. It is thought-provoking, especially when you think of the first thing which you have in your head when Florida is mentioned, nothing like what is described in the words of stic.man and M-Uno. The reason one is to put out what means to be displayed, as the good side of the 'Sunshine State' is all which gets out in the media, especially in the UK.
7. Radio Freq
In responce to having very little of their politialcally-motivated material being spread through the radio waves on their first release, they took inspiration from the experience by explaining why something as revolutionary will never be let out on such a wide scale as it should. As a result the lines "Turn off your speakers" and Trn up your receiveers" shows that they are boycotting radio station as they don't portray the full picture, you need a more clear "reception" to get a true understanding of what goes on on the streets 9without having to witness propaganda).
8. F***ed Up
I expect that this will be an inspirational track for amn who listen to it as it deals with the troubles of Alcoholism. I wouldn't have expected it from them, but out of any Hip Hop group, they would be the ones ateir conscious style lends itself to talking in a motivational manner. On "Let's Get Free" they promoted healthy eating on the track "Be Healthy", so it does eem like a good way to follow it up. (Maybe they'll stop us smoking on "Information Age", their next album)
9. 50 in the Clip
I thought that this was quite a change for the group, and the changes are immeditaely apparent as you hear a chanting chorus which sounds rather common in terms of how they don't uusally show that they take much of the style of other rappers in their wrk. However, I found that hear it was relavent as they rap in a dark way about loading their weapons up for wars in the streets.
10. Way of Life
stic.man comes with a relentless list of things which display ignorance. The way that he directs it to the listener makes it thought-prrovoking as it seems like adirect challenge towards yourself, making you want to display that you are none of the things which he claims. Although I found it effective, I didn't enjoy being backed into a corner like this, but then they may need to do this to some in order to make them see it their way.
11. Don't Forget Where U Goin' (Outro)
12. Hell Yeah (Remix)
Just as on "Let's Get Free", we have a remix of the hit single from the album (although you may not have heard it before) in 1999, it has "Hip Hop, which had Kanye West as a guest producer for the remix, but here "Hell Yeah"'s remix features the raps of the New York rap heavyweight Jay-Z. Another similarity between this and thei rdebut relase is that this one is followed up by silence.
13. - 19 *silence*
If you read my review of their debut album, "Let's Get Free", then you will notice similarites here with this section as you have a group of tracks which simply have five seconds worth of silence playing in order to give you time to think over the track which preceeded it.
This one is interesting, especially if you smoke weed as it takes influence from Nas and his "I Gave You Power" as it is rapped from the perspective of the substance from being grown in the Caibbean, then on it's journey to the US before being smoked, it is certainly enlightening if it relates to you, and also strong in displaying how the work of other MCs have guided their own work (looking at Nas' Untiled new release, the favour was returned by having stic.man produce tow of the tracks).
21. Hell Yeah (Rock Remix)
I shouldn't have to explain this, it's just the big single remixed with heavy drumming and guitar added to it. I think that listening to the original makes it feel more special than had you just heard this one straight away.
This is a strong album from dead prez, and if you heard "Let's Get Free", then you will think that it is an amazing follow-up to it as they brign the same messages as before in their conscious lyrics, and have them updated to more modern times. Even though they seem more in tune with what is currently goign on, they stil mange to highligh areas where progression hasn't occurred, and explain how some poverty-stricken American are being left behind.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Don't Forget Where U Came From
2 Walk Like a Warrior - Dead Prez, Krayzie Bone
3 I Have a Dream, Too
5 Hell Yeah (Pimp the System)
7 Radio Freq
8 F***ed Up
9 50 in the Clip
10 Way of Life
11 Don't Forget Where U Goin'
12 Hell Yeah (Pimp the System) [Remix] - Dead Prez, Jay-Z,