It’s not a secret that we at Planet Ill and myself in particular have an affinity for Duck Down and all that they represent. It doesn’t preclude us from being fair in our coverage (I believe only Skyzoo has gotten a 4 or above so far) but it does allow us to perhaps dig deeper for stories and meaning because we are allowed a higher level of access (other labels take note if you want your artists to be people).
General Steele dropped his second solo album a few weeks ago at the end of February entitled Amerikkka’s Nightmare Part 2: Children of War. It took me a while to get to it, as we had ramped up our pace here at the Planet, but one night I turned my lights off, turned off my appliances, and digested the album. I had the hard copy, not the download. Aside from the normal CD packaging, it was wrapped in paper like a top secret file and tied with string. It was frustrating as hell to open but it took me back to the days when you could get invested emotionally with packaging and photography and liner notes. I poured a nice tall drink, sat back and let it rip. I was intrigued with the results.
This album is urgent, in a Me Against The World kind of way. Not that they sound alike musically, but that immediacy is certainly present. There are themes of revolution but not that of guns and butter, but of thought. A cooperative movement; not one of overthrow. Steele has managed to call for change via movement of people and ideas not of violence and moronic mob movement (cause like Andre said they got some shit that’ll blow out our backs from where they stay at) out of concern and a desire for a better America for our children. There’s no Garvey-like go back to Africa. There is an acceptance of this country as home to us all, and a willingness to work for its improvement rather than its abandonment or destruction.
This is an important album. People say Hip-Hop is fluff, and dead, and a bunch of adjectives that describe it as soulless and uninventive. This album puts a lie to that. Selfishly, I would like for you all to take a listen. Buy it. Try it. You can’t dance to it but you can rock to it. Smoke to it if that’s your poison of choice. But if you are receptive I think you will feel it. So much so, that I went to visit the brother. I sat down with him, and allowed him to sell his album to you. This week, we will give you track by track, the soul of this album, the rationale and the reasoning behind each song, and how its components support its overall message. The album marries our past with our present with excerpts from speeches, documentaries, and interviews spliced with rock, Hip-Hop, and funk elements. Enough from me. Planet Ill presents General Steele: Amerikkka’s Nightmare Part 2: Children of War. Episode 1
Tune in everyday this week @ 1PM for another episode. Peace
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