M-1

Confidential

posted March 20, 2006 12:00:00 AM CST | 5 comments

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As one half of the revolutionary-but-gangsta duo dead prez, M-1 has now gone for self with his brand new solo debut. This album comes as a bit of a surprise to many as it is the general consensus that stic.man is the superior rhyme sayer. Its by no means law, but most of the time the stronger of a duo that goes for dolo first. Nevertheless, here comes M-1 on the hush with Confidential.

The set's introduction comes courtesy of the infectious, hard-hitting "Early," a liberating duet with his partner-n-rhyme stic.man. Notable tracks on M-1's more-than desirable first time out include the heartfelt "Land, Bread & Housing" which comes complete with a spoken reflection from the emcee's mother. The soulful and jazzy "Love You Can't Borrow," which is an ode to mind sex of sorts that features Q-Tip and Cassandra Wilson. Lest I forget to mention the anthem-like "Comrade's Call" with the ill verbal assist from The Lox's Styles P and DMX protégé Bazaar Royale.

Elsewhere on the album there is the melodic title track featuring guest vocalist Re', who checks in on two other noteworthy album cuts (the aforementioned "Land, Bread & Housing" and the smoothed-out "Been Through"). Also a little something nice is the chaotic, war chant "For You" and the West coast-flavored "Don't Put Down Your Flag," a call for gang unity.

As a solo entity, M-1 seldom disappoints. Some lackluster production ("The Beat," "Too Smart") bog down the set some but the content makes up for it in most cases. On the whole, the self proclaimed raptivist serves up a solid platter. M-1 has never been the best lyricist out the box, but he gets the job done and makes up for any short comings with his message.

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