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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Intro: Bow & Fire|
|2. Blazing Arrow|
|3. Sky Is Falling|
|4. First In Flight|
|5. Green Light: Now Begin|
|6. 4000 Miles|
|7. Nowhere Fast|
|8. Paragraph President|
|9. It's Going Down|
|10. Make You Feel That Way|
|11. Brain Washers|
|12. Chemical Calisthentics|
|13. Aural Pleasure|
|15. Purest Love|
|16. Release Part 1,2 & 3|
|17. Day One|
Blackalicious's debut, Nia, was grossly underrated despite emcees Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel's witty, Afro-centered conceptual leanings. Blazing Arrow picks up where Nia left off, but features a more mature-sounding duo utilizing even tighter beats and more cerebral rhymes. When they're teaming up with fellow West Coasters like Dilated Peoples' Rakka Iriscience ("Passion") or Jurassic 5's Chali 2NA ("4,000 Miles"), the results are off the meter. The sheer number of well-utilized guest spots from non-rap genres (Ben Harper, Rage Against the Machine's Zach de la Rocha) and downright catchy choruses ("Sky Is Falling," "Make You Feel That Way") expand mainstream rap's limited new-school paradigms in ways that are desperately needed. Although the duo still aren't anywhere near the most-skilled emcee's in the Bay Area's burgeoning underground movement, "Paragraph Preside" is a must-hear track, featuring wildly schizophrenic rhyme chemistry and wily wordplay. At a time when dullards like Fabolous get props for being a skilled emcee, any rhyme duo that is more interested in pushing envelopes than licking 'em deserves your ducats. --Dalton Higgins
Top Customer Reviews
Overall, if you're a fan of j5, or underground hip-hop in general, this is an incredibly refreshing and inventive album to listen to. Many pro critics I saw were giving this average reviews, but the truth is, they're probably more used to mainstream hooks and beats. Thats what makes this CD great. When you think hip-hop, it doesn't sound in your head like Blackalicious.
Also, if at first this CD kinda doesn't catch on....listen to Gift Of Gab's lyrics closely...the album will grow on you
It is easy for "traditional" listeners of Hip Hop to be turned off by the lack of aggressive tones in the album or the Gift of Gab's Bay Area style of rapping which when compared to underground lyricist in New York it can sound "soft".
However the challenge is in realizing that Hip Hop, like other genres, does not need to have only one face. More importantly, why is it that Hip Hop must encourage violence to be considered authentic? Are we forgetting early groundbreaking albums which this album brings to mind? De La Soul's 3 feet High and Rising, Digable Planet's Reachin', or Organized Konfusion's '91 debut. This album is ridiculously good, and should be owned by anyone who appreciates positivity in music, regardless if they consider themselves a fan of what they've come to know as Hip Hop.
There's no doubt about it, Chief Xcel and The Gift of Gab are two of the most ingenious and unrelenting figures of hip-hop. There are some brilliant moments on Blazing Arrow, when the quick rhymes, samples, scratching, everything, when they all come into place, there's just something incredible going on. Songs that really hit that spot for me are Blazing Arrow, with the awesome Harry Nilson sample and great lyrics, Make you feel that way, an awesome, breezy track that just makes you feel that way, and Release, a massive, incredibly passionate megatrack.
At other times though, this cd sounds really trite to me. Songs like Greenlight: Now Begin, Nowhere Fast, and Passion are all pretty weak. Greenlight is too long and there's just something disconcerting about the beats and the backup singers, they just don't blend together well at all. Nowhere Fast is probably my least favorite track. It really doesn't go anywhere fast, and it's very boring. Passion is a non sequitur on this album, it's an angry track with a crappy electric guitar loop and average rhymes. It strays far to much from the collective feel of the record. There's some decent scratching at the end, but that's about it.
Overall though, there are definitely more good moments than bad ones. Other tracks I didn't mention before that are really good include First in Flight, Day One and Purest Love. I wouldn't quite call this a groundbreaking record, because there are to many highs and lows, but I would recommend the album for the highs, which are indeed wonderfully high-reaching.
Most recent customer reviews
Gift of Gab is easily one of the best MCs out there right now, and this is perhaps his best work. I would love to give this album 5 stars, but Blazing Arrow does have a few... Read morePublished on Dec 27 2009 by Jimbo Jones
When I first got introduced to Gift of Gabs vocabulary on his solo joint by a good friend of mine, I didn't think it was any special. Read morePublished on July 14 2004 by M. Aulin
In my opinion, this CD is a must buy. The beats are eclectic and original, they feel like someone spent a lot of time on them. Read morePublished on June 18 2004 by Dan
I love good hip hop (Roots, Blackalicious, Common, GangStarr, Mos Def, Jurassic 5 etc) but I am almost always disappointed with the albums. Read morePublished on Feb. 28 2004 by roastbeefalo
While I didnt give this CD a 5 star, because two or three songs I thought were boring, this is a very good cd. Read morePublished on Dec 16 2003 by ThatTangySack
Couple years ago I'd never heard of Blackaliciious but went to a concert (Sno-Core Icicle Ball or something) featuring Blackalicious, Saul Williams, Nikka Costa, ... Read morePublished on Dec 8 2003 by Techthusiast
Was this CD overlooked? It got plenty of critical praise. But that didn't necessarily translate into sales. Read morePublished on Oct. 28 2003 by Miguel Gonzalez
While I can't say that Blazing Arrow is a masterpiece, it does have a few good songs like the one with Charli 2na, Paragraph President and the song that Cut Chemist produced. Read morePublished on Oct. 11 2003 by Dustin J. Lathrop