Presence Common Man's Anthems

Common Man’s Anthems could very easily become Definitive Jux’s Anthems, which is no surprise considering Nasa, who produced the album and shares the rap duties with high school chum Cirrus, was involved with the engineering and mixing of Def Jux classics like Cannibal Ox’s The Cold Vein, El-P’s Fantastic Damage, and Aesop Rock’s Bazooka Tooth. Plus, he has produced for a few Def Jux artists and the label released their debut twelve-inch. The beats are a freaky blend of The Cold Vein and Bazooka Tooth with a little bit of Anti-Pop Consortium thrown in for good measure. Nasa and Cirrus rock the abstract NY rapper steez with lyrical focus on local and world politics from the point of view of the common man. It can be a heavy album, but it’s got it’s funky, b-boy moments, like "Zenith Mountain,” where a couple of draft dodgers take refuge in the mega-city of Toronto — Halifax gets its propers earlier in "Turbo Connection — or the great electro beat for "Members Only.” Even the two interludes — the political "Cannon Fodder” and the stoner "G Is for Gold” — are worth replay value. In fact, Common Man’s Anthems is a very unified, cohesive album that could be one of the best of the recent Def Jux releases. (Uncommon)