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jesus!The Gospel According to The Music Director: But what the hell took us so long to deliver The Word? As heads ponder the imponderable from Bay Ridge to City Line– Gerritsen Beach clamdiggers put down their shovels & look to wards the heavens– Coney Island smoked fish mongers in white frocks & heavy rubber boots pause before stepping back into the cold– & then– the answer comes to all as if by Revelation: Sean P! But who is Sean Price & why aren’t more folks singing his praises? While there isn’t time for a Brooklyn hip-hop primer just now– however much one is needed– it goes a little something like this: Brownsville-native Sean Price is the greatest MC currently repping the borough as his own, & one of the living greats anywhere. It’s been a long time coming, at least in hip-hop years. Although well-regarded as part of both the Boot Camp Clik (a Wu Tang-like collective more or less led by Buckshot of Black Moon) & half of Heltah Skeltah (his duo with Rock, where Price went Ruck) it wasn’t until his solo debut, 2005′s Monkey Barz that P reached his current level of brilliance. The breakthrough track there was probably “The Brokest Rapper You Know,” which flipped hip-hop’s aspirational conceits hard on its bummy ass:

It go Frederick Douglass, Nat Turner
Ku Klux Klan, big black burner
Ashtray, cigarette butts
Box cutter gem star, watch this nigga get cut
Ten dollars, two tokens
Friends hollerin’, “Yo, what you smokin’?”
I reply with “none of ya biz”
It’s father’s day and I ain’t get shit from none of my kids
Listen, liquor store, let me get a fifth
Weed spots, let me get a spliff
Mad as hell, plus I’m frustrated
Last album came out, you motherfucks hate it
Rock solo, Ruck broke
Here’s a hundred dollars, what a fucking joke
Eviction notice, yo, I gotta go

Jesus Price plays with this theme a little– & with a lot more dark humor than just the lyrics suggest– but it also gives listeners tons of other stuff too. The production, mostly by North Carolinians, 9th Wonder & Khrysis, is exceptional, the guest spots all on point (special shout to the Loudmouf Choir!) & every song has at least one lyrical turn that makes you want to do a virtual backspin: what did he just say? That the twined foolishness of the hip-hop media & the extremely– how you say?– pale portrayal of the Bduck down!rooklyn cultural scene in both the press & the on the web has marginalized Sean Price is a goddamn crime. Let’s hope his frustration with the game doesn’t really cause him to check out; I ain’t sayin’ the 2 train is always a pleasure but just knowing Mr. P-Body is gutting it out also keep this reporter– & surely some other Brooklynites– going hard.

BZA, from the Port Arthur Public Library: Congratulations to Sean Price & the entire Duck Down family; I hope BCC & Smif-N-Wessun get theirs when the rest of TMD’s Top 10 arrives– before 2009, homie? Ya’ll should use one of my Duck Down promo van pictures; last I checked, approximately… no other blogs in or out of Gowanus have managed to notice. “Too black, too strong” indeed. Likewise, for those of us still mortified even New York City– often the biggest goddamn hick town in the country– was so stupid on Super Tuesday, Texans For Obama might prove at least a little inspiring.

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