153

Blackalicious: Blazing Arrow

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Blackalicious’ career is now hitting the decade mark, and hopefully, now that MCA have won the bidding war to give them major label status (and hopefully the equivalent in marketing dollars), their career will be less sporadic than previously. Blazing Arrow represents a truly long awaited full length for the Bay Area duo Chief Xcel and Gift of Gab, following up 2000’s NIA. Blackalicious are on an elevated hip-hop path that is now showing signs of coming to full fruition. Blackalicious have always done things their own way and while NIA and other albums showed signs of genius, Blazing Arrow simply takes it to the next level. Xcel’s beats and musical canvases are like no other. Infused with funk, tempered with incisive grooves and fertilized with rich melodic sensibility, they reverberate with their own life. Add to that the superior lyrical skills of Gift of Gab and you have match made in hip-hop heaven. “Make You Feel That Way” should be one of the year’s anthems as Gab flicks brisk couplets around Xcel’s beautifully jazzy and soulful track. There’s a host of guests on the album such as Gil Scott Heron, Jaguar Wright, Chali 2Na, Ben Harper and others but they complement rather than clutter the album. “Release” is a three-part, nine-minute verbal and mental workout laced by Saul Williams, Zach De La Rocha and Lyrics Born. Blazing Arrow sets a benchmark for hip-hop – let’s hope others at least try and measure up.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: MCA | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Romance 76" CD/LP/Track Review Romance 76
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 11, 2016
Read "Wee +3" CD/LP/Track Review Wee +3
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 12, 2016
Read "Everything's Beautiful" CD/LP/Track Review Everything's Beautiful
by Asher Wolf
Published: July 18, 2016
Read "Unspoken" CD/LP/Track Review Unspoken
by Andrew Luhn
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "I Just Want to Get Paid!" CD/LP/Track Review I Just Want to Get Paid!
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!