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cap D Return Of The Renegade All Natural Inc. • 2007

Chicago. The Windy City, Chi-Town, the 'Second City', the 'City of the Big Shoulders', there’s plenty of descriptive names for this cultural capital of the Midwest, just like there is plenty of musical genres, sounds and styles. Hip-hop lives there in many forms, translated by different kind of interpretators, whether they rhyme real fast, they used to love h.e.r. or they’re a college dropout.

Amidst this pool of talent is the group All Natural, whose discography is an anthology of vintage hip-hop, without any additives or preservatives, music that works like the Second Nature organization offering insight, knowledge and motivation. In his solo work, front man cap D has maintained the same approach on hip-hop music, at the same time more conceptual (on his collaboration with the Molemen; 'Writer’s Block') and political (his second solo 'Insomnia'). The third installment of his series of solo endeavours has turned out to be a rougher, Oriental-orientated and anthemic adventure with string-loaden, ominous drums and nearly haunting voice samples.

With a gathering of featured Muslim artists (except for Iomos Marad), the lyrics are tales of belief and contain a spiritual dimension that fits right unto the way the beats were conveyed. 'The Answer' for instance holds Kung-Fu movie samples, a mystic mandolin, a raw electric guitar lick and has fellow-Muslim adept One Be Lo 'social commentory yo that’s me' on the same mission. Floating along nicely is 'Nickle And Dime' (featuring Iomos Marad) where even J Rawls adds an Oriental touch to the smooth interaction between bass and drum. 'Bright Lights', 'Game On The Mic', 'The Come Up' and 'Destiny' don’t have the same Oriental approach, they carry a more break-soul-sample-cut-and-paste but might sound no less RZA than the other tracks (maybe this album is actually a dedication to the Wu-Tang heritage).

Less conceptual (rather thematic) and political (although in the first song cap already raps 'I rock for the babies in Darfur' and goes back in time to save Malcolm X's life on the spoken-word song 'Shabazz'), 'Return Of The Renegade' ('Renegado': a term used in 14th-century Spain for people who had converted to the Islamic faith) still offers anything you can expect from rapper cap D, who’s actually lawyer David Kelly between 9 to 5. Not as lush and smooth as the stuff he does with All Natural, but enlightening and spiritual with a raw and dusty coating.


POSTED ON 05|06|2007 by cpf

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