Blackalicious
Blazing Arrow
MCA Records, Quannum Projects
Released: April 30, 2002

This album is Blackalicious' major label debut. Although they've been performing together for 10 years, this is only their fourth album. They've been blown up for years in the underground hip-hop community, but this album brings their musical vision to a new level of production.

Some critics have dismissed this album as below the bar set by their previous album, Nia. While Nia was easily one of the best hip-hop releases of 2000, the entire concept of Blazing Arrow is far more fleshed out. Over half the songs on the album are collaborations, and the sheer range of vocal styles and beats is astounding.

This album is short on cliches and long on message. Hip-hop heads who judge an rapper by how 'hard' they try to be will likely label this album bubble gum, but those who are looking for musical talent will keep coming back to this one again and again. Cerebral hip-hop such as this is not for everyone, but Chief Xcel and Gift of Gab have put a strong message into a very pretty package. While this album follows in the tradition of hip-hop consciousness, it doesn't suffer from the same heavy-handedness as KRS One has unfortunately become known for.

Collaborators on Blazing Arrow:

Track List

  1. Intro: Bow & Fire (1:06)
  2. Blazing Arrow (2:40)
  3. Sky Is Falling (2:26)
  4. First In Flight (4:32)
  5. Green Light: Now Begin (3:12)
  6. 4000 Miles (4:35)
  7. Nowhere Fast (6:41)
  8. Paragraph President (5:09)
  9. It's Going Down (3:44)
  10. Make You Feel That Way (3:26)
  11. Brain Washers (6:22)
  12. Chemical Calisthenics (3:21)
  13. Aural Pleasure (4:47)
  14. Passion (3:54)
  15. Purest Love (4:03)
  16. Release Part 1, 2, 3 (9:26)
  17. Day One (4:52)
Sources:
www.blackalicious.com

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