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15 February, 2006@12:00 am

    There are some days when you wake up in the morning and just feel the need to hear rhymes and beats. No belligerent hooks, no complicated string arrangements, no girls singing hooks. Just beats and rhymes. In comes Jihad and D-Styles (also known as Third Sight) with the interestingly titled album Symbionese Liberation Album. The duo are joined by the likes of MF Grimm, Ricci Rucker, Rhetmattic, Dave Dub and more to make an attempt to bring their brand of hard core hip hop to the forefront.
   The duo brings an interesting style and vibe to hip hop with D-Styles on the production and cuts and Jihad with the lyrics. D-Styles production is rather dark and brooding and allows the listener to zone out, while head-nodding. Joints like “The Limpire Strikes Back” exemplify this. With menacing strings and pounding drums driving the production, it is evident that D-Styles can deliver some slow brewing sounds that will rumble your speakers. Styles is also relatively nasty on the cuts as evident on “Idle Smasher.”
    At times the album comes of a bit bland with Jihad’s lyrical prowess. Most of the time it seems as if he is simply speaking over the beat and doesn’t provide much lyrical variety to keep today’s hip hop listener attentive. His topics are solid but when the listener isn’t able to engage the artist speaking on theses interesting subjects, that’s when things go sour. Joints like “Nine In My Pocket” and “Will I Get Shot By A Dope Fiend” demonstrate his progressive thought process, but when the words hit the beat at times they become lost in the shuffle and become a bit of babble more than witty lyricism.
    At 17 tracks deep, Symbionese Liberation Album overloads the listener with darkness (“The Shepherd And The Sheep Dog” and “Anti-Happy”) and Jihad wears out his welcome rather quickly. If the album was reduced a few tracks, there probably wouldn’t be much to complain about, but unfortunately this album suffers from a bit of overkill.

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