CD Rise of the Champion Nation [Slipcase] * (CD 4648271),
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Rise of the Champion Nation [Slipcase] *

  • 1. Renegade
    2. Arrival
    3. Destroy the Industry
    4. Trouble
    5. Babylon Beast
    6. Warrier Divination One
    7. We Will Conquer
    8. Dawn
    9. Rise
    10. Warrier Divination Two
    11. Exorcism
    12. Villian's Impasse
    13. King of the Mountain
    14. Warrier Divination Three
    15. Promised Land
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 007

  • Credits
    ProducerTotter Todd; Resurrector; Patch
    EngineerOz Fritz

    Personnel: KRS-One (vocals); Dana West (guitar, synthesizer); Ganga Giri (didjeridu); Ivan "Choi" Khatchoyan, Hector Becerra (drums); DJ Illnaughty (scratches).
    Audio Mixer: Oz Fritz.
    Rise of the Champion Nation is music of its early 21st century era, in that it's not just difficult to pin it down to a style, but also to attribute the work to specific performers. Resurrector & Patch are credited with production, writing, and performance, with additional contributions in all those categories by Totter Todd, and scratches by DJ i11 Naughty. They might be at the heart of this booming, sometimes dub-reggae-flavored hip-hop, but a whole lot of others contribute vocals and lyrics to the 15 tricks, KRS-One being the most celebrated of the lot. A manifesto of sorts titled "The Liberation Process" in the packaging seems to announce that this is an endeavor devoted to freedom and expression. That could be, but for such lofty intentions, the mood is pretty glum. Criss-crossing electronic bleeps, chattering beats, and low pulsations are at the core of the sound. These project a rather barren landscape for the vocalists to poetically, if largely abstractly, expound upon grinding sociocultural frustrations to be overcome and transcended. There's enough variety in the modulations and vocalizations to sustain interest for those who get into such creations on a purely sonic level, but at over 71 minutes, it's difficult to keep involved in whatever thread the confluence of forces might be trying to construct. Lady K's soulful, shiveringly spiritual vocals on "Trouble" add some welcome warmth, while A.P.O.S.T.L.E.'s rap on "Warrior Divination Three" is the most reggae-like contribution to the effort. ~ Richie Unterberger

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