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illler than theirs self titled debutDr. Scorpion offers his diagnosis: For decades now we’ve been accused of having Afrocentric musical biases & what the hell, if not quite a fact– I’ll admit it seems true enough when WWIB gets stuck with booby prizes like being voted Brooklyn’s best real estate blog. Flattering? I think the fuck not, hot stuff. Unlike the toothless dupes over at the Municipal Art Society or the infinitely-sub Whoreson pimps running the Brooklyn Museum of Art, WWIB (collectively America’s #1 Best Selling Black Author) won’t give up its hard-fought beats and places just so we can make nice at some goddamn cocktail party or another free dinner for douchebags. Sound harsh? Try this, Comrade: “The Same,” from Iller Than Theirs’ debut album:

planet bkParty people everybody involved
Kings County in here get your bodies evolved
They’re trying to turn Brooklyn into a shopping mall
BK ain’t the same not hardly at all
They got a Chuck E. Cheese and an Applebees
Making luxury apartments out of factories
And then they turn around and act like that’s for me?
But I ain’t here for that, you can have it please
They say things are changing* but the changes stink
Why they wanna move here and change the state, man?
This place was great & we made it that way
This is the borough where my fam was raised
Four generations before gentrificationmystery spot #1
Sending this from Red Hook all the way to Gravesend
I ain’t a rapper that’ll snap or clap ya’
But I’d like to take a gat and put a cap in Ratner
& any motherfucker in his tax bracket
They’re doing to us what the did to Manhattan…

* Beadel Debevoise says whoa! With the Music Director & BZA both out of town, it looks like I’m stuck checking the lyrics by ear. Four generations of Brooklyn accents means I couldn’t figure this one out with surety but if it this a sly Last Poets homage… all the better. I’m always a bit leery of topical songwriting: if you can’t match Phil Ochs, “white thighs,” or Chuck D., it’s probably best not to try. Still, this wasn’t any cheap ploy for attention & if it was, it failed miserably. Not that that these dudes were touching Jesus Price Superstar for 2007 album of the year but it’s a damn good record (eschewing both skits & the dire “emo” flourishes some of their erstwhile peers indulge in) & producer J. Howells Werthman is iller than that: score that one a Gilligan!

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