CAPITAL-"X" - 305375 (The Voice Of The Voiceless) Volume 1
Reviewed by Mistadave
3.5 out of 5
The "X", the unknown, related to the great black leader of the past. 305375, the identification number he had known in his days in prison. An explicit reference (Voice of The Voiceless) to Mumia Abu Jamal, perhaps the worlds most famous convicted prisoner on death row. Once you've come to understand these concepts, then you're ready to plunge into the universe of Capital-"X", Puerto Rican origins, Brooklyn, New York born, a world which consists of strong feelings, blind fury, a desire for revenge, for justice, feelings that often collide with his hope for a better world, less corrupted, less cynical, one that needs a fresh start with a new youth education system. The albums mood is often nervous and obscure, related to a person that strongly believes that his prison experience deteriorated his life instead of correcting it, in a system that hides the motives of profits, the abuses, and the structures' precarious conditions. 305375 is a portrait of reality equivalent to a punch right in the stomach, a wake up call against the death penalty, which the artist fights against with numerous and praiseworthy activities (identified by the artist himself by the word "Raptivism"), with many interludes that brings directly to you the voices of the condemned. Goin' to the album specifics, "305375" a 23-tracks work, comprising interludes, brings back an imaginary connection with the militant and controvercial Rap once performed by Public Enemy and Paris, specifically in songs as the symbolic "Criminals Of War", by exposing similar conspiracy theories against America's powerful side, the one that tentatively crushes minorities, and by bringing to every ear that listens the prisons' inhumane conditions, being that experience of living in those places are something that a person carries with them forever.
The truth and passion exposed are well represented by the musical choices, the beats are raw and hard, the drums are tight, the keyboards are often solemn, and they contribute in creating a freezing atmosphere (“Stop Snitchin” fits the example very well), there are malinconico piano loops ("From The Frontlines", "Prison Of The Mind"), and there's little variations on the main themes, as many songs start and finish with the same combination of beat/loop. The overall work, despite its notable length, is interesting even after many listens and the number of skippable songs is reduced to a minimum, it is very good from a lyrical point of view, even if X's lyrical style is sometimes hard to comprehend (X eats many words, so possessing the written lyrics is fundamental to really understand what he says), a characteristic that collides with the urgence of the message involved. The best episodes are "Face The Music", a heavy boom bap which spits in the face of the corruption, the imposing "Conspiracy" and its anti-American dream, the touchy "999330", dedicated to Anthony Haynes, and the hypnotic/militant "Fight The Apathy", the discs highest point. "Spic In Black" also remains well impressed on the listener's mind, a sort of ballad accompanied by an acoustic guitar where X explains his legacy with the color black, honoring the lost and the defeated ones, a Johnny Cash-inspired concept track. It is a truthful album, a monothematic one but very important to listen to, often controversial, sometimes extreme, there are some concepts that some will disagree with, and can discuss for months, about the cruelty and the worst parts of this world that not everyone knows.