DPZ/Various Turn Off The Radio: The Mixtape Volume 1

While they ready the release of their sophomore joint, Dead Prez have employed the trusty buzz generator known as the mix-tape to maintain their visibility. Stic-Man & M-1 haven't lost any of their militancy and continue to employ their penchant for subverting party tracks with their socialist agenda as they did with their single "Hip Hop." While they reconfigure Aaliyah's "We Need A Resolution" as "We Need A Revolution," the duo apply the same culture-jamming tactic to popular tracks by Black Rob and Notorious B.I.G. and milk the tactic a little too much, diluting the desired impact. Additionally, the patchy, underwhelming production hampers well-intentioned efforts to shed light on police brutality, and attacks on civil liberties. But when they manage to reconcile these discrepancies as they do on the title track where they channel the spirit of vintage Ice Cube and Public Enemy into a stirring battle cry, they manage to retain their position as effective dissident voices. (Holla Black)