[10 December 2007]
Confession time: as this disc was listed as “reggae” in the review list, I was looking forward to an uplifting old-school calypso album in the style of Lord Invader, Roaring Lion or Lord Kitchener. Instead, a cold, horrific rap narrative was unleashed upon my, er, ass. And real horrorshow it is o my droogies. Especially as my ass’ cup of tea is the swinging hip-hop of folks like De la Soul and Madvillain singing about such topics as dandruff and food, or the old school beat-politics of The Last Poets or Gil Scott Heron. Still, Lord Infamous’s 21st Century Darwinian psycho-capitalism is delivered with quick-as-a-flash tongue-twists and slow euphoric grooves of undeniable power.
Already a massive seller with Three 6 Mafia, his second solo album may seem a little softer, at least musically. But lyrically, these boasts of cut-throat urban piracy in ruthless pursuit of money, sex and power are as defiant, nauseous, and bone-chilling as ever. This is an unflinchingly brutal vision of life in America. No more brutal than the long-lasting effects of racism, corporate pillage Enron-style, or push-button warfare, but I still hate to think of real people inhabiting these songs. In an artistic sense, though, it would be hypocritical of those critics who laud endless cinematic depictions of gangsters or serial killing, not to applaud Lord Infamous’s twisted vision of honor, instinct and survival.