Music News

Various Artists

In the tradition of politically and socially conscious artists such as Public Enemy and Dead Prez, the talented group of vocalists, producers and rhyme-sayers (F.I.S.K., WhizM, Taughfeek, Pirahana Jones, Nafia, Shiek and Clymaxx) on this local compilation affiliate themselves with the Seerz Movement. Put together by DJ F.I.S.K. and the D.U.G. Entertainment family and including artists from L.I.U. Entertainment, the collective aims to lead "the people in the right direction." Whether or not it attains that lofty goal, Heaven & Earth is still a satisfying collection.

With ISeer providing a unique blend of icy minimalist keyboards and percussive beats, F.I.S.K. asks tough questions on tracks like "World Trade": "What made the two towers collapse?/Was it a conspiracy or a plan?" Elsewhere, he critiques the Bush administration's policy on the Middle East: "What does Bush really want under the land?/The gold and oil under the soil." On the uplifting "Time 4 a Change," which features a spiritually stirring chorus and acrobatic wordplay, the crew examines the destructive life choices that have led so many astray. Song for song, this five-track disc is a refreshing debut from a collective that delivers substance in its beats and rhymes while sounding a call for righteousness.

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James Mayo