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Blazing Arrow

4.6 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 7 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000065DJ4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #37,883 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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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
14. Passion
15. Purest Love
16. Release Part 1,2 & 3
17. Day One

Product Description

Product Description

Features the bonus track 'Just What Can Happen'.


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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Once I heard the track with Cut Chemist and Gift Of Gab, I knew that this was a truly skilled group. That track is absolutly INSANE! Also, if this helps, if you like Jurassic 5, you will definitly like Blackalicious. I'm a big fan of j5 and I've heard about blackalicious from j5' collaberations, tours, and friends alike. Once a friend I trust who has a good taste for hip-hop told me "gift of gab is just the sickest lyricist ever." Well, maybe not ever, but yeah, he is the most underrated ever. Passion, to me, is the best song on the album. The way Dialated and Blackalicous collaberated makes the track classic. Make you feel that way is also a very good track.
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
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Format: Audio CD
"Blazing Arrow" is destined to be a timeless piece of hip hop full of intellectual lyricism, creative production, and positive messages. With their unique style this is arguably the Bay Area's best effort at Hiphopology, along with their earlier record,"Nia".
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.
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Format: Audio CD
Length - 74:15
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.
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Format: Audio CD
A mind-blowing, expansive, sonically rich tapestry of sound, Blackalicious' Blazing Arrow proves that Blackalicious have the most appropriate stage name in the hip-hop 'biz - the duo embody all great facets of African-American music and incorporate them all into a cohesive, if (joyously) schizophrenic, whole. It features more guests than their first LP, Nia, but these guests serve to elevate the entire experience to a whole new plateau rather than to shoulder the burden of responsibility off onto someone else. J5's Chali 2na's thick, distinctive baritone sounds wonderful trading off verses with Blackalicious emcee Gift of Gab and former Solesides alum Lateef on the jubilant "4000 Miles"; poet Gil Scott-Heron croons the chorus to the spacey "First in Flight"; and each part of release features a different, crucial guest - part one finds Gift of Gab ripping it up over the spastic howls of Rage Against the Machine's Zach de la Rocha, part two is a mind-warping spoken-word from Saul Williams, and part three is a funky, old-skool trade-off between Gab and Lyrics Born. That's not to say that Blackalicious couldn't pull this whole shindig off on their own - they're two supremely talented and creative individuals. Emcee Gift of Gab boasts the vocabulary of about 20 college professors and, apparently, doesn't breathe, ever. These facts, coupled with a wonderfully overactive imagination, account for his absolutely KILLER flow, and it's in top form on Blazing Arrow. DJ Chief Xcel's soundscapes make up the other half of Blackalicious' sound, and they are absolutely - well, blackalicious. Soul, rap, R&B, blues, funk, gospel - no genre is off-limits, and Xcel taps all of these and more. Also, his grab-bag of samples includes bits from Harry Nilsson AND De La Soul.Read more ›
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