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7 September, 2004@12:00 am

“Selling a negative black experience/rap is a modern day Uncle Tom, yo/and actors, bacterias/fast and furious/challenge the master? Here he is/mass is curious/asking for serious/I outclass much more/than many and most/do a double detonation/for a deadlier dose/Got cuts, beats, rhymes/and do business/you don’t know jack if you ask: who is this?” On the evidence of Insight ripping “Another Intermission” to shreds, many people will be forced to admit they don’t know jack, at least about him, because this St Thomas-born, Boston-residing DJ/MC/producer/engineer is as hugely slept on as he is talented. He has worked with KRS-One (on the France-only “Maysun Project”), collaborated with Mr. Lif and Louis Logic, and toured the world with close friend Edan, whom his delivery most resembles; fast, complex, unrelentingly dense and aggressively intelligent in a way seldom seem on the
hip-hop scene since the likes of Big Daddy Kane.

     Rather than Edan’s distortion-heavy madness, though, Insight’s production tends more towards the jazzual, underpinned with tight, thick percussion. Across these variously boombastic, pretty, cheerful and soulful backdrops,  Insight spits intricate knowledge on matters varying from the historical events that led to the present form of hip-hop (“Time Frame”), to the way we’re kept mis- or uninformed by modern government (“Forced labour on Dominican sugar plantations/are responsible for 15% of the US trade nation”, from “Lots of facts about Control”), and the way most peoples’ careers and lives seem to be going nowhere (“Another Cycle”). There are concept cuts like “Daily Routine”, which follows a plethora of interconnecting city lives, “Inventors”, wherein he imagines life were the inventions of black inventors (and how many do YOU know about?) to disappear, or “Seventeen MCs”, where he basically delivers a vast posse cut on his own, in 17 different voices. Amazing.

     Add to this the mentalist apocalypse of Edan collaboration “Unexplained Phenomenon” and a very dope bonus track previewing forthcoming project Midnight Shipment, with fellow Bostonites Dahga and Adad, and you have an album as impressive and thought-provoking as it is enjoyable. After hearing this you’ll want to hunt down a copy of his Electric crew’s Life’s A Struggle, released earlier this year, not to mention Updated Software 2.5 from a few years back. You’re now in the blast radius; don’t let ignorance ‘save’ you from this bomb.

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