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Various Artists No More Prisons 2

From the West Coast (The Coup, Zion I, Pyro & Self Scientific) to the East Coast (Saigon, Krumbsnatcha, Dead Prez) to the Dirty South (Crooked Lettaz), NMP2 has Amerikkka covered, offering up often-scathing sociopolitical commentary on our ill society mixed in with artists' personal views. The big surprise here is not that there are so many hip-hop artists with something to say, but the quality of the songs; dope production, wicked lyrics and catchy hooks abound. The welcome return of legendary MCs Lil' Dap, Ed OG, and Chubb Rock (together with newcomer Ike Eyes) makes "Rich Get Rich" a must-hear, even if you're completely apolitical. And Akbar's "Battle Cry" makes yet another strong case for him as one of the most slept-on MCs of our time. Speaking of which, dozing on this tight comp is not something you want to do, unless you think freedom, justice and civil liberties are overrated.

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