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Maspyke Blackout

I'm unphased by J-Zone's semen jokes and Lil' Kim's garrulous sexuality. But Maspyke's lyrics give me pause-maybe because they treat raps as political screeds rather than filthy speech forums. Ergo, Maspyke's rhymes pound harder than other rappers'. As stalwarts of the Nation of Islam, Maspyke have a penchant for contrarian politics and spiritual homilies-like Wu-Tang Clan, they're prone to cavalierly diss queer folks ("Lost in Belief"), flout the get-money ethos of their hip-hop peers (every song on the album), and impart rap sermons about the laws of Allah ("54th Regiment"). Consistently headnodic, Blackout is, nonetheless, intellectually rigorous.

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