If Scholar & TrueBLESS could make a feature film, I’d bet half my CD collection it would be a parody of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill called “Kill Bling”. The main character, Hip-Hop, would be on a mission to slay its demons, culminating in the death of Bling, the symbol of everything that’s unrighteous and materialistic. Scholar & TrueBLESS could use songs from their album The Love Freedom Movement in the score, as Hip-Hop battles oppression (“Freedom: America’s Nightmare” and “We Need Freedom”), takes the game back to the old school (“Do You Remember?”), and points out the weaknesses in rap’s tough guy persona (“Shoot Nuttin’”). On The Love Freedom Movement, the pair deserves much respect for crafting an ambitious collection designed to promote socially conscious music. From the sample of Malcolm X in the opening track to the Mau Mau references in “We Need Freedom”, The Love Freedom Movement tells you to “free your mind and your soul will follow”. Though preachy at times, and sometimes presenting a simplistic worldview—a variation of the “if you can believe it, you can achieve it” slogan—the lyrical and production skills will satisfy those who long for the “good old days” in hip-hop. Memorable songs include “Freedom: America’s Nightmare”, “Hold You Down”, “LOVEvolution”, “Do You Remember”, and the fabulous “We Need Freedom”. The album includes special appearances by Suncee, Chanice, and Big Smuve.
// Notes from the Road
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