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by
9 March, 2005@12:00 am
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Mixtape/Compilation Release, No Rating Given

     Since 1996, the emcee and DJ/producer duo (Chace Infinite & DJ Khalil) collectively named Self Scientific, without the hyphen bridged together their constant quest for the knowledge of self with pounding, sinister beats that draw from the inner, unfelt soul and spirit. Keep these integral elements in mind when listening to their second album (actually, a mixtape – editor) in four years since the release of their self-titled debut in 2001. With the many 12″ singles, B-Sides and song collaborations by Chace Infinite on compilations or soundtracks continuously bubbling underground, DJ Khalil’s productions have also been lacing the streets recently under the microphones of artists such as Keith Murray, Xzibit, Living Legends and on “Lay your Ass Down” off the Beg for Mercy compilation featuring 50 Cent, Young Buck & Lloyd Banks. Finally, the Los Angeles two-man force come together again, getting the globe ready for an extra source of depth to plunge into on their latest, Gods And Gangsters.

     “Hip-hop music is the most powerful weapon Africa people have at this moment. It serves as a way of opening up the eyes and minds of our youth, the struggle against capitalism and for the liberation of African people. Is it any wonder mainstream labels seek to change the focus of conscious music? Look at what happened to Bob Marley and Marvin Gaye…think about it.”

     With this exclusive drop in the Intro by Dr. Ahmed Mbalia of the Pan-African Revolutionary Socialist Party, brace yourself for the direct in-your-face lyricism further on from Chace Infinite, as the title to this LP says it perfectly – balancing the preach-like ‘strong-black-man’ wisdom with a taste of that LA street life and lingo gangsters there have made world famous. Filled with a tirade of scratch-hooks by DJ Khalil bombarding the beginning of “Change Pt. 1,” the build up of drama in an orchestra-symphony sample comes to a mellow fizzle as the beat fades. From here on, their science seeps in, as on “Seven” featuring E-Rule, Big Reece, GT & Bad Azz, a blowing wind swirls gently in the background alongside the eerie guitar tingles raising your pores off your skin. Play this one only at night, and uncover the black hole darkness with the light from lessons revolving around the ‘scientific’ explanations of the gift and curse of the number ’7′.

     As the intricacies of LA gangster life is painted by the lyrics from Chace in a cinematic manner on “Jealousy” featuring Daude Sherelis, the fury of the most chaotic beat clarifies to outsiders that under the sunshine and palm trees, there’s blood on these streets just like Rwanda spilled. Other Crip and Blood sounds escape Hollywood for that authentic low-rider roll fulfilling the gangster attitude present in this LP, including the soulful strut of “Killaz & Builders” by Krondon featuring Paul Mooney, “Just when you thought” by Kombo who convincingly beats down any punks approaching him to the corner store and “Confrontation with a Gangsta” by Born Allah & Bro Tarik Ross, probably the best creeper track to test your sawed-off with.

     Onto more blessings of mind exercise, Self Scientific invite from the East Coast Talib Kweli to join them for definitely the album’s highlight, “Shame on a Nigga”. Also featuring Krondon and Planet Asia, this violin may bleed European tones, but the pushy hip-hop overrides the classical samples with Black niceness blasting proven power of the kick-drum and bass line past it, as emcees follow one another leaving little room for the commanding yet stylish chorus hook. If LA had to stand up to any territory’s best offering in hip-hop, this would stand any test once loaded in the chamber. With more excellent productions and relevant lyrics on other stand-out cuts such as “Amongst Gods” featuring Born Allah, “Pedals,” “Gimmie a Lift” and “Be Easy” featuring Phil Tha Agony, Self Allah & Mitchy Slick, it’ll be a ‘God’ damn shame if you miss this heavy, potent dose of hardcore hip-hop from some of LA’s best representatives, Self Scientific.

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