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Blackbird Bird‘s Eye View

Trite but true, this isn‘t rap music-it‘s poetry plus sound, and we‘re not talking just beats. Paris Zax‘s backing tracks earn him the front cover credit, as his own instrumental "High Plains Drifter " surprisingly breathes new life into the Ennio Morricone sample. With the mise en scène, Blackbird delivers a succession of stellar performances: from a Tom Waits scruff to the Blaxploitation version of "Travis Bickle." On "Lessons," Blackbird slips Bambaataa an Ambien for the "zzz‘s" and then proceeds to pontificate with a proliferation of P‘s-and it sure packs a punch.

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