Micranots Obelisk Movements

"A great adventure took place..." And so begins Obelisk Movements, the adventures of Grand Imperial DJ Kool Akiem Allah Universal Elisra and the more simply named I Self Devine, better known as the Micranots. Giving equal representation to both banging beats and lyrical lashings that say something, Obelisk Movements is a rare recording indeed. Occasionally it takes a few listens to decipher the dense lyrics, but I Self Devine has everything it takes to be a highly-respected MC: a voice with presence and charisma, plenty of attention paid to the intricacies of writing and a message that not only needs to be verbalised but is expressed with sincerity as well. I Self touches on topics like government drug trafficking ("Illegal Busyness"), the Black Holocaust ("The Willie Lynch," with the Liun's Den), the preservation of hip-hop culture ("Culture") and the simple relationship of mother and son ("Mother's Day), as well as demonstrating skills with battle rhymes scattered strategically about. Hip-hop with any agenda other than "thugz getcha chedda" is unpopular and often frowned upon, but with the heavy emphasis on drums that pound hard and samples that bridge the gap between the past and the future, Kool Akiem gives the album a sound that should keep even the most apathetic individuals bopping their heads along to the sounds. The duo combine best on tracks like "Pitch Black Ark," "Balance," with Budah Tye, and "Illegal Busyness," but there are quite a few other good tracks that are far from album filler. Unfortunately, at 74 minutes in length, Obelisk Movements becomes mentally draining about three quarters of the way through, around the time the drums start to sound repetitive. But, by then, you've got your money's worth and maybe more. (Sub Verse)