People's Poets No Life Without Roots

People's Poets No Life Without Roots
No Life Without Roots is the first album from the People's Poets, an outfit from Edmonton, AB. The group are comprised of three MCs — Rosouljah, 4 Life, Solidaro — and their DJ, Dice. Their mandate is quite clear: they want to make "critically conscious" hip-hop. And every one of their 16 tracks is an attempt to get their point across about various elements of what they perceive to be social injustices or need for grassroots change. People's Poets tackle topics such as abused women, native rights, corporate greed and so on. Their influences — groups like PE and Dead Prez — have proven you can make good hip-hop without an overbearing concern for airplay or chasing the almighty dollar. While making conscious, non-commercial music is something groups like the Poets can identify with, the schism between them and their mentors is primarily in rapping ability. While their subject matter may be considered deep, their flow and lyrical arrangements are not sound. However, not is all lost for the Western Canadian quartet with Latin roots. Since they aren't concerned with commercial radio play or a big label signing, and with no doubt they are into hip-hop out of pure love, they won't close up shop over one critical review. Rather, they most certainly have plenty of time to improve, which is the best part of being committed to anything over the long haul. (Independent)