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by Max Herman
7 September, 2004@12:00 am
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    Capital D is pissed and for good reason. Much of the rhymes he spit with his group All Natural may have been directed towards those giving hip-hop a bad rap, but for the better part of his new solo outing, Insomnia, Cap has even bigger fish to fry. The title of this Chicagoan’s album is fitting as America has entered a questionable war, our history books continue to only tell half of the story and grown men claiming hip-hop are dumbing down their lyrics just for a rep–all of which is plenty to leave a mindful MC like Cap sleepless.  

     On the previously released single “Vent”, Capital D cunningly asks the listener, “What’s the use of hip-hop if it’s not liberating and facilitating something better?” Instead of merely leaving this question lingering, this ever-conscious MC mindfully shows exactly how substantial hip-hop can be throughout this self-produced album.

     Take the hard-hitting politically charged “Blowback” where Cap blasts the Western world’s domination over time. Just check his history lesson on how the misuse of power has affected the world for the worst: “Stole America/ colonized Asia/ raped Africa/ stole Australia/ and now they pimped the Mid-East and South America/ Western Civ. is mass hysteria/ But that’s the modern world that they never teach you in your history text/ A bit more complex than… honest Abe and Washington’s cherry tree/ don’t want to speak upon the slaves or the Cherokee.” With all its fortitude, this is arguably the best-executed cut on the album. Immediately following “Blowback”, Capital delivers one amazing bluesy instrumental entitled, “Mississippi”, which proves that he can speak as loud with words as he can behind the boards. Cap’s subtle bass keyboard playing and the slick guitar licks of Cosmos B here serve as a therapeutic blues session for this MC to let go of all his frustrations–if only for a few minutes.

     Insomnia sees Capital D more heated than he’s ever been and the strength of this album lies within how well he is able to read between the lines and regurgitate hidden governmental actions (See “Start the Revolution”, “Blowback” and “1984″). I would be remiss not to mention though that groups like The Coup have doing the same thing for years. But along with Immortal Technique and Mr. Lif, Cap is one of a select few MCs worthy of carrying the revolutionary torch handed on from The Coup and Public Enemy–that is if he keeps up this politically and historically driven vigor that has left him an insomniac.

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