Somewhere Paris is smiling, because the Lost Children of Babylon may hate Bush II more than he hates Bush I. Following in the footsteps of Paris, Chuck D, and Brother J, the Philadelphia collective’s latest album, The 911 Report The Ultimate Conspiracy, is condemnation of President Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and any person associated with their perceived view of a corrupt government. Using the events of September 11th, 2001 as the crux of their argument, The Lost Children of Babylon deliver plenty of politically charged lyrics that could make them heirs to Mista Chuck’s throne.
The strongest track on the album is “Guerilla Militia” with each member doing their best Noah Chomsky over a chaotic beat filled with heavy drums and heavier guitar. Lines like, “We need help here / We spend billions on probes to Mars / When there are people who need healthcare,” sound a little simple, but are delivered with surprising conviction and authenticity that most learners should feel what they are saying. Songs like “Never Die” and “Baptized By Fire” showcase the groups feelings about race relations in the United States. The latter includes an intro from Fred Hampton before leading into the soul sampled beat.
While The Lost Children remain political through out the album, they may be a little limited as rappers. The group does not deliver many memorable lines, including some that sound as if the group had just watched Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911. On “Media” one member rhymes, “As I stand next to the window pain / Holding an AK like El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz / Better known as Malcolm X / Blasting my tech”, sounding a little contrived in order to get his Malcolm X allusion across. Some will say that the group may cross the proverbial line, especially when they say, “Capture Ariel Sharon and stone him to death / And make him internally bleed to death / And let the lead open up his chest”, but we have heard more violent lyrics in rap before. However the victim usually is an unknown/unidentified black male and not the former leader of Israel.
Certainly this album is going to be too radical for some people, but others may gravitate towards The Lost Children’s message. Unfortunately with an album that invites so much controversy, most people will not notice The Lost Children as rappers. That could be both a gift and a curse for the group.
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