Album Review

High Priest – “Born Identity ” – [Sound Ink]

Max Level   4/28/2007   CD, Hip Hop

Emcee/producer High Priest (ex-Antipop Consortium) drops a version of hip hop that sounds like it was run through a carnival funhouse mirror before we ever got to hear it. But this is no funhouse; not only is it serious -and I do mean serious- it’s seriously weird. Priest delivers an uneasy, paranoid style of rhyming/ talking, bringing a lot of what seems to be futuristic, government-conspiracy subject matter. Are his lyrics good? Hell, I don’t know– what I like is how the voices are used as just one element in Priest’s dense, crazy scheme of things. The music often sounds like he took a half dozen unrelated records, got some but not all of them synchronized on the beat, and then played them all at the same time. Yeah, it’s good like that; this CD might be setting the new standard for illness in hip hop production/beatmaking. One high point is the mutant loop of cranked-up Afro-jazz on #14.

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