Life Force Radio
label: Koch Records
our score: 2.5 out of 5.0
speaking, in every 50 horrible hip-hop albums that came out so
far this year, there is one truly amazing album that makes you
think that new flavor has been introduced into the rap scene.
Life Force Radio is not one of them.
of that same group of 50 horrible hip-hop albums that have been
released this year, there have been a handful of albums that,
in all reality, aren’t that bad. Afu-Ra’s
album Life Force Radio is one of those albums.
effort of Afu-Ra, Life Force Radio, has tried to venture
off into the rarely explored genre of reggae/rasta/hip-hop that
even has a group of featured performers. Sound out of the ordinary?
Well, that’s the beauty of this release - it gives the illusion
of being an interesting, intelligent, powerful album, while really
it’s just an ill attempt at conscious rap.
As with any
other rasta-rap album, the addition of the Rastafarian vibe produces
energetic, danceable, robust beats. But then with out warning,
the fabrication takes a U-turn and ventures out into the no-mans-land
of over production combining lack luster looped vocals and dance
beats that are less than desirable. This is most drastically noticeable
in "Open." The song starts out promisingly enough with
some deep beats, but as soon as you put your dancing shoes on
you're rudely introduced to the vocal loop of Teena Marie. Her
shrill, disorderly wailing is sure to make anyone with an eardrum
move on to the next cut.
speaking, Life does have a few positive points. The album
has featured performances with big name artists including Big
Daddy Kane, RZA, and M.O.P. Yet, while the addition of these other
music influences on the album does work, the guest appearances
have a tendency to carry the album.
Afu does step
out with some bold lyrics. The messages Life Force Radio
drops are undoubtedly thought provoking (race relations, fatherhood,
the recent Sept. 11 disaster, etc.) and evolve beyond the all
too familiar rap clichés of money, power, and women. The
problem, however, is Life doesn’t take the extra
step to make the listener think twice about what's being said.
said and done, Life Force Radio leaves the listener with
the feeling something just isn’t right - the feeling that
Afu has set up a joke and failed to deliver the punch line. It’s
like someone forgot to breathe the life into Life Force Radio.
liked Life Force Radio...
1. The Asun / Message
2. Scat Man
3. Stick Up
4. Hip Hop
7. Lyrical Monster
8. Miss You
9. Perverted Monks
10. Ghetto City Streets
12. 1, 2, 3
13. Think Before You...
14. Aural Fixation
15. Sacred Wars
16. Dangerous Language