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Nationalistic 2005

The rest of the planet generated some good CDs this year, too.

Zion I, True & Livin' (LiveUp Records). Oakland-based underground vets MC Zion and Amp Live uphold their city's activist tradition by producing a politicized seventeen-track party platform on True & Livin'. On "Stranger in My Home," they dissect hip-hop's racial gentrification with Gift of Gab, while Aesop Rock joins them on "Poems for Post-Modern Decay" for a critique of the robotic wage-slave state. The album feels True. -- Mayo

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