Thursday, May 6, 2010
Capital-“X”305375 CD Review By: Solomon Comissiong
In an era when the corporate media has carefully handcrafted and selected Hip Hop “artists” who fit their acceptable standards of what should be promoted as well as who shouldn’t, it is refreshing to hear rappers like Capital-“X”. I first became introduced to the work of Brooklyn born rapper, Capital-“X”, in 2008. He was delivering a lecture on the nefarious and capitalist driven Prison Industry Complex while speaking on the campus of the University of Maryland . Yes, that’s right; a rapper was giving a lecture on something other than how to mindlessly support capitalistic values, senseless violence, or the denigration of black and brown women. Much like a skilled professor, Capital-“X” intricately deconstructed the US’s Prison Industry Complex to an audience of mostly college students. The students, including myself, clung to each of Capital-X’s captivating words. He spoke with passion, conviction and the resonance of someone who genuinely cares about a system that destroys countless communities and families from stolen coast to stolen coast. He spoke with the warranted anger of someone who had close and personal experiences with the bloodthirsty and institutionally racist system. I later found out that Capital-“X” had as close a relationship with the US criminal injustice system as anyone can have. He was in fact a former inmate within the notorious Rikers Island , among other correctional facilities.
Capital-“X” was blatantly honest how he initially became embedded within the web of the criminal injustice system. He also explained how that vastly flawed system inflicted physical and psychological damage on countless inmates, including him. From the forcing of psychotropic drugs to prisoner suicide to murder and even the indiscriminate beatings of inmates by correctional officers; Capital-“X” disclosed all that he witnessed as well as experienced. After educating his audience he blessed the microphone with some of the illest and socially conscious array of lyrics I had heard in some time. I have seen Capital-“X” lecture and perform on two separate occasions and each time it was “off the chain”. Being a child of the Golden Era of Hip Hop Capital-“X” reminded me of many of the artists I grew up listening to. He represents the kind of rapper that the corporate media, and much of white America , is petrified of. In essence, he is a self-educated man of color (Indigenous Puerto Rican) who does not give a fuck about bucking the capitalist and white supremacist system that is entrenched within America . Capital-“X” embraces the responsibility that accompanies his talent---to educate the masses on a range of social issues. He artfully does this without compromising the quality of his music or his ability to literally move his fans to dance.
This year Capital-“X” dropped his debut album simply entitled “305375”, his former prison number. Capital-“X” deliberately dropped this album several years after he first began rapping. He did so because it was more important to him to engage himself, as an activist, with several Prison Industry Complex and Death Penalty related projects. To refer to Capital-“X” as a man of conviction would be a gross understatement. With that being said, Capital-X’s “305375 is one of the dopest albums I have heard in quite some time. Each track is laced with the lyrical venom that makes those fake ass corporate record label executives cringe. “305375” is exactly what the corporate media (radio, TV, and record labels) do not what the masses of Hip Hop fans to hear. And this is why these snakes do all that they can to suppress artists like Capital-“X”. They wish to continually program the masses of Hip Hop fans into believing that the racially stereotypical rap music fed to them is actually good. They have, in essence, significantly limited the mental and social scope of millions of rap fans, without those same fans even knowing it. However, Capital-X’s “305375” is a potent dose of smelling salts capable of psychologically waking up even the most dumbed down corporate rap fan.
There is not a bad song within “305375”, however my favorite has to be the song entitled, Revolutionary. He starts that song off by saying:
“I'm tired of the hypocrisy and the mockery of justice
tired of seeing our children, carried off in prison buses
I'm tired of the brutality and all the corruption
they arrest us nothing, I'm ready to do something
the prison industry, and the corporate hustle
need to be dismantled as we continue to struggle.”
From the moment that song starts is hard not to find yourself immersed in thoughts of mobilizing with brothers and sisters to Fight the Apathy (title of another song on the album) and starting a fucking revolution. Although, after listening to the entire CD, you get that feeling. “305375” is flat out one of the most revolutionary, socially conscious and superb albums this decade! Capital-X’s music is designed to feed your mind and give back to socially neglected communities, unlike the corporate backed rap that is manufactured to rob your soul and feed their pockets. I highly endorse Capital-X’s “305375” as well as the man himself. If you’re a fan of real Hip Hop music pick of this album now. Capital-X’s album can be found at: www.capital-x.com
Solomon Comissiong is an educator, community activist, author, public speaker and the host of the Your World News radio program (www.blogtalkradio.com/Your-World-News). He may be reached at: email@example.com.