East Coast Avengers Present... DC The Midi Alien - Avengers Airwaves
"Immortal Technique fans will find satisfaction in this LP, as will liberal listeners with youthful, revolutionary spirits and a fascination in current events."
There has always been a niche in Hip Hop for current events, and over a few decades the culture has seen its share of emcees who take pride in the oft-undervalued fifth element of Hip Hop: knowledge. Ras Kass, Canibus, Public Enemy, dead prez, and even Tupac Shakur (when he felt like emphasizing Black Panther references and social issues like Brenda’s baby more than how he sees the same hoes in every city he goes) managed to solidify their names in the distinct sub-genre of Rap. In the last few years two emcees and a producer came together to form the East Coast Avengers, most notably known for the single “Kill Bill O’Reilly.” Fast forward to the present, and the emcees hand the spotlight to the producer of the crew, Massachusetts-based DC the Midi Alien, to provide the musical backdrop for a newscast brought to listeners by some of the underground scene’s heavyweight spitters known as Avengers Airwaves.
DC the MIDI Alien fittingly deserves the bragging rights on Avengers Airwaves, as he consistently provides the LP with strong instrumentals that fit the theme and goal of the album perfectly. Most of the project is fueled with musical energy and aggression forceful enough to be appropriately labeled as “fight music,” and the sound goes hand in hand with the mostly revolutionary subject matter. Although it is filled with notable features such as Showoff frontrunners REKS and Termanology, as well as Vinnie Paz, Esoteric, and Reef the Lost Cauze, on a lyrical front Avengers Airwaves loses its momentum from time to time, and it’s DC’s work that will force the listener to stick it out until the next track.
The standout of Avengers Airwaves is “Ride For A Cause” featuring Reef the Lost Cauze, Doap Nixon, Blacastan, and REKS, with DJ Kwestion on the cuts. REKS delivers the high point of lyricism on the LP with his verse over DC’s gritty sounding beat, which is certain to get heads nodding. On the flip side, low points are found in tracks like “Riot Gear” featuring trademarc, Termanology, Singapore Kane, and Big Shug, It’s not that the track is particularly bad, it’s more an issue of knowing that each emcee on the track is capable of better verses. This particular beat from DC the MIDI Alien is also heavy on the ears, and when coupled with such serious subject matter it at times feels overbearing.
Immortal Technique fans who are waiting patiently for The Middle Passage to become more than an urban legend will find satisfaction in Avengers Airwaves, as will liberal-minded listeners with youthful, revolutionary spirits with a fascination in current events. For the rest of rap’s audience, however, DC the MIDI Alien’s latest won’t likely prove to be a frequent listen. Without death threats to Bill O’Reilly to send it into a media frenzy, any jabs equivalent to it, or absolutely incredible lyricism utilizing unique approaches to the content, Avengers Airwaves doesn’t seem poised to make the impact that the previous East Coast Avengers release achieved. On an individual scale, however, DC the MIDI Alien has successfully reinforced his skills as a producer.