Politic Live Adaptation

Chris Rock once told Rolling Stone, "People don’t have a problem with conscious rap; they have a problem with conscious beats. If you make some ignorant beats, you can say all the smart shit you want.” Edmonton’s Politic Live complement their intelligent, and yes, conscious lyrics with surprisingly lively beats. Some of these tracks actually slam, albeit in a crunchy-granola kind of way. Even the non-bangers are lushly full-figured; a far cry from minimalist fare one might expect from a group with "Politic” in its name. Adaptation, the group’s sophomore record, is diverse too, incorporating reggaeton, dub and more than a hint of R&B. The real attraction here though is the lyrics, thought-provoking and challenging without being preachy. "Travels with Akeem” is a revealing dialogue between an underemployed cab driver and his sympathetic fare. Politic Live have crafted a strong, listenable record here. Considered within the greater context of recent Canadian hip-hop albums, Adaptation is a solid addition to what is fast becoming the niche of Canrap: brainy, organic and challenging hip-hop. (Music for Mavericks)