I Self Devine made a subtle, but noted re-entry with his follow up to 2007's "Self Destruction". In comparison to his label mates contemporary albums, it did not become hyped with a bang, a roar, but rather a loud whisper. It did not reap the same commercial successes of any other album Rhymesayers released in 2012, and it certainly did not ignite a frenzy for the Micranots veteran.
So, how is it that "Sound of Low Class Amerika" is quite possibly the best album of the year it came out?
It's an album that follows similar trends to Brother Ali and P.O.S. in 2012, an album focusing on the socio-economic and political-economic issues facing America, but the presentation is so much more subtlety different from either. Devine paints a world where people have little to turn to, struggle in the day to day, but as implied in the album's amazing intro, hope is alive as long as the spirit is alive: "the working class is where change has got to start. It's got to start there."
The comparison to I Self Devine's label mates is obvious, but the differences are not necessarily. Whereas Brother Ali took an attitude of idealistic defiance and collaboration, and P.O.S. stood on the forefront of anarchistic disruption and anger, "Sound of Low Class Amerika" doesn't sit on such defined separation. His previous album touched up on many similar topics, but didn't paint such a vivid, sympathetic picture.
The hope, the anger and the helplessness is at the forefront, but it is all one mixed emotion. This album destroys what ever disconnect a listener has with the issues brought forth. However, the key of making this album more than just rattling off the issues facing America is simple, but incredibly effective: create a level of sympathy, but draw empowerment of the people facing the subject. It simply boils down to the basic act of surviving and overcoming an environment set up for failure.
Standout Tracks: "Hold On"; "Cycles"; "Living Under Siege"; "Exist to Remain"; "Stuck"
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