Waajeed The War LP

Waajeed The War LP

From the moment the sounds of urban chaos, sirens and distant gunfire subside to Tiombe Lockhart’s deceptively seductive vocals intoning, "We are the underdogs” with steely resolve, it is evident that Waajeed is on a mission with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. The Detroit native (a founding member of Slum Village and the driving force behind the Platinum Pied Pipers) along with his crew point to the losses of people close to them as the creative fuel behind this record and indeed, the sense of bereavement informs the overwhelming foreboding atmosphere. The late J Dilla, an obvious sonic inspiration and former Waajeed colleague, is present on a few tracks, while "Proud” is an obvious tribute to "the godfather of soul,” James Brown. But the sense of loss is not limited to musical and personal realms. A loss of innocence and faith in regards to notions of social progress and the resulting bitterness and disillusionment are heard in every hard-hitting snare and the detachment of Waajeed’s techno-informed instrumentals. The uneasy aural assault is perhaps best typified by MC Invincible, who rides the "weapons of mass percussion” with several awe-inspiring lyrical displays. On "Place Where We Dwell (Part D),” she slyly references Gang Starr’s ode to Brooklyn of the same name and relocates its focus to the social inequalities of the much-maligned Motor City. However, despite the grim reality, the resistant spirit on this track, and the whole record, underlines that some things are worth fighting for. (Bling 47)