Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hasan Salaam - Children of God

So I know this is a little old (cough cough - a year old) but it's just too good to not be posted. To our credit, Da Wh@t didn't quite exist when this dropped. Children of God is also the newest album Hasan Salaam has released, so this is what you're gonna get.

If you aren't familiar with Hasan Salaam (something he's struggling with--check 15 Minutes), he's a half-white, half-black, black Muslim from Jersey who's been rapping since he was 10, and getting recognition since '04. He sounds sort of like Dead Prez or Immortal Technique, which is paradoxical because what makes those guys who they are is that they don't sound like anybody else. The reason you listen to these guys is that on every track they're gonna have something to say which no one else is saying, even if they're doing a similar thing. Having said that though, I would say he's not quite as militant as Tech. He actually volunteers at local schools in his area and reminds people to "fuck a revolution, first learn how to spell" (History of Violence).

Children of God paints a grim but honest picture of the world we live in today--and not that bullshit world of hoes and cars. It's the world of politics, race, history, poverty, but also love. While super star, musically lacking, radio-played rappers are calling themselves gangstas Salaam points out that "it's overcrowded at the bottom swept under the rug/gentrification claiming more turf than crips and the bloods" (Someplace).

This is one of those cds where every track starts and you just think, "ay, what is that?" Listening to it you can't help but be pulled in--it's not an album to listen to in the background. The truth is, this album is just poetic in every way--lyrically, musically, and spiritually. 50 cent can rhyme a word with itself, while Salaam spits like this: "my mind's been stuck in a state of nostalgia/and memories keep fading like my pops body from fibromyalgia" (Best Time to Pray).

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