Electronic music has never been a bastion for political demagoguery, with artists generally shedding their ideals for fun grooves and a party vibe. Rob Garza and Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation, however, have never shied away from controversy, or at the very least, making some sort of statement. When the widely popular downtempo and dub duo out of D.C. released their sixth studio effort, Culture of Fear, there was never any doubt that they'd be attacking the police state and general hysteria which has consumed the United States, and effectively the globe, with the Arab Spring and more recently, the riots in the U.K. The sleek, futuristic cover even sports an innocuous security camera masquerading as the most fiendishly evil invention of the last half century.
For help with their title track, Garza and Hilton enlisted the help of renowned underground rapper Mr. Lif, who intones sentiments of frustration with the climate of fear which has settled upon this country ("Threat level's been 'orange' since 2001, can't a brother get some 'yellow?'") With a rippling backbeat and coolly subtle melodic tones, the outrage and intensity of Lif's rhymes permeate the surface of the crystalline groove. Unlike T-Corp's D.C. brethren in Minor Threat and Fugazi, you don't need screaming, distorted guitars and muffled primal outbursts to stab at the heart of the Man.
Thievery Corporation - Culture of Fear (Feat. Mr. Lif)
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