This is going to be a little segment we will be doing weekly to reintroduce you to some albums that we missed over the last 14 months, while on sabbatical. First up on the list? James Crow (Vintage Noize) and his album Religion Guns Money from Homework Town Records.
“If they ain’t outlawed your drum you ain’t beatin’ it right. If they ain’t cut out your tongue you ain’t speakin’ it right.”
The hook on Crow’s lead track, Demark Vesey, sets the tone of what you should expect from Religion Guns Money. The album serves as an expression of the artists view on current conditions of this rock we live on. Over tracks produced by label mate, fellow Jafrican/Vintage Noize alumni and brother 5th Child, Crow weaves poetic tapestries so shear that they expose the duplicity of a world that is hell bent on self destruction.
The title of the album is a reflection of Crow’s view of the problem areas in today’s society. The tools used to keep people oppressed in a state of modern day slavery. 5th Child does an excellent job producing the soundtrack for the verbal revolution brought on my James Crow. Tracks like “Git Down”, “Gil” and “Work” showcase the seamless chemistry between the two siblings. True verbal genius is showcased when an emcee uses his voice as an additional instrument on the track. Crow does this effortlessly, he’s something like hip-hop’s Tiger Woods, the early 2000’s version, better than the rest with a penchant for a white girl on his cover. He enlists very few guest artists. He chooses those who share his specific social outlook to pepper in a track here and there. 5th Chizzle jumps on the mic on “Gil”, where the two channel the spirit of one of great musical revolutionaries, Gil Scott-Heron. Rollo Goodlove offers some words of wisdom on “Follow The Light”, while James Crow tries and guide the strayed listeners back onto a path of prosperity. If James Crow’s rhymes are too encrypted for you to catch, go straight to “Get Em Merc” and let Merc B Williams break it down for you in layman terms. You might be in for too much though. The rest of the album is just Crow taking the podium to teach. On the title track “Religion Guns Money” James Crow rounds out the entire album, as the last song on the album it serves as a summary of the views expressed through out the project.
Overall, Religion Guns Money is a stellar album which shows an excellent progression from his debut album Black Codes. Although to be honest, I was hoping for a follow-up to the epic “Cripple Fight” see below, but I’m hard to please at times. If this is a proper representation of what James Crow + Homework Town Records have in store for us, they should make for formidable opponents to the typical ignorance that poisons the radio and a generation.
PURCHASE : JAMES CROW – RELIGION GUNS MONEY
JAMES CROW : GIT DOWN
JAMES CROW : JAFRICAN WAR CRY
JAMES CROW – CRIPPLE FIGHT