Blazing Arrow

Blazing Arrow

4.6 6
by Blackalicious
     
 

The late '90s ushered in a second golden age of progressive hip-hop, as a group of ambitious young lions rose from the underground to redefine the art of lyrical technique and revive the idea that hip-hop had relevant statements to make. With their 2000 debut album, Blackalicious established themselves as one of the West Coast's topSee more details below

Overview

The late '90s ushered in a second golden age of progressive hip-hop, as a group of ambitious young lions rose from the underground to redefine the art of lyrical technique and revive the idea that hip-hop had relevant statements to make. With their 2000 debut album, Blackalicious established themselves as one of the West Coast's top outfits in this vein, and while it was very good, their follow-up, Blazing Arrow, is simply fantastic, vaulting the duo to the forefront of the progressive hip-hop pack. Much of Blazing Arrow retains NIA's airy, laconic feel, but the group's sense of craft has improved to a startling degree; the hooks are sharper and more plentiful, Gift of Gab's rhymes are denser, Chief Xcel's production is more breathtakingly lush, and his arrangements more sophisticated. What's more, the tracks draw from a rich sonic palette -- not just the expected jazz-funk and old-school influences, but straight pop (check the Nilsson sample on the title track) and smooth soul (particularly the Philly variety, but also the contemporary neo-soul revival) in particular. In spite of the duo's intellectual bent, the grooves on Blazing Arrow exude a tremendous warmth that's only complemented by the positivity of their messages. And if Gift of Gab wasn't recognized among hip-hop's premier lyricists before, he certainly ought to be now; his raps are jam-packed with internal rhymes, allusions, metaphors, ten-cent words, and amazing tongue-twisting feats of skill. Guests include members of Jurassic 5, Dilated Peoples, and Latyrx (all worthy company), not to mention singer/songwriter Ben Harper, Zack de la Rocha (Rage Against the Machine), and the legendary Gil Scott-Heron. All the pieces add up to not just one of the best rap albums of 2002, but one of the richest, most captivating albums to emerge from hip-hop's artsy new underground.

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Editorial Reviews

The Source - Jon Caramanica
Blazing Arrow, the follow-up to 2000's Nia, is a powerfully optimistic, stunningly melodic and intensely lyrical opus celebrating the affirming values of life on the straight and narrow.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/30/2002
Label:
Mca
UPC:
0008811280628
catalogNumber:
112806
Rank:
46241

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Blackalicious   Primary Artist
Paul Humphrey   Drums
Anthony Coleman   Trumpet
Erinn Anova   Vocals
Zack de la Rocha   Vocals
De La Soul   Track Performer
Ben Harper   Guitar,Vocals
Leon Mobley   Percussion
Money Mark   Organ,Piano
James Poyser   Keyboards
Gil Scott-Heron   Vocals
Harley White   Bass,Keyboards
Karl Denson   Flute
Juan Nelson   Bass
Vincent Segal   Percussion,Strings,Cello,Electric Cello
Cut Chemist   scratching
Seth "Slim" Zwerling   Trumpet
?uestlove   Drums
Alfred Ortiz   Percussion
Lateef the Truthspeaker   Vocals
Lyrics Born   Vocals
Saul Williams   Vocals
Joyo Velarde   Vocals
Jose Espinoza   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Chali 2na   Vocals
Gift of Gab   Vocals
Rakaa-Iriscience   Vocals,Track Performer
Keke Wyatt   Vocals
Jaguar Wright   Vocals
Tracey Moore   Vocals
Ben Kenney   Bass
Oliver Charles   Clarinet,fender rhodes
Omar Edwards   Keyboards
Syble Scovell   Vocals
Linda Parker   Vocals

Technical Credits

DJ Hi-Tek   Producer,Engineer
Robert Russell Bennett   Management
Mario Caldato   Engineer
Chris Gehringer   Mastering
Ben Harper   Producer
Steve Mandell   Engineer
Rail Jon Rogut   Engineer
DJ Shadow   Producer
DJ Babu   Cut
Cut Chemist   Producer,Cut
Chief Xcel   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Cut
?uestlove   Composer
Kevin Guarnieri   Engineer
Innocent Criminals   Producer
Xavier Mosley   Executive Producer
Timothy Parker   Executive Producer
David Jolicouer   Composer

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