Very much the "angry black men", Sticman and M-1 continue to stick it to the man - more specifically, to the white man - on this, their break-through album. Now, I'm not black and I'm not usually very much of a hip-hop enthusiast, but I find this album thoroughly enjoyable for a few reasons.
First of all - the revolutionary spirit that is prevalent all through this album. There's nothing like centuries of oppression, in all its forms, to forge dissenting minds this sharp. Anti-authoritarianism and anti-establishmentarianism of this magnitude is something I find in punk all the time, but the outright authenticity here seems even more urgent.
Secondly - the lyrics. Whether they're describing the dedication to the black struggle ("Walk Like a Warrior", "DOWN"), dissing the authorities ("W-4", "For the Hood") or portraying the ghetto way of life ("Hell Yeah", "Unbroken") they do it with a style and vocabulary you just don't find in mainstream corporate hip-hop. Inspiring, intelligent and credible with a convincingly competent delivery.
And last, but not least - the music and perfomance. Excellent beats, from hardcore gangsta to chilled r'n'b, from trippy beats to roots-influenced soul. Combine that with excellent lyrical flow and rapping technique as good as anyone (if not better than most), and you have a record that is excellent both superficially and on a deeper level.
The downsides (because there are downsides too) would be the token weed songs, and - to a certain extent - that it makes me feel guilty for (in one way or another) being a part of the system that DPZ so explicitly loathes. Although it's a healthy guilt.