Waxploitation / Spun
Not since the summer of ’88 has being black sounded this good. Billed as a “musical companion” to Angel Kyodo Williams’ Afro-Zen book of the same title, this compilation attempts to bring forth musically the message of strength and pride that’s to be found in the book. Boiling over with rappers of substance (Jurassic 5, Mystic, Dilated Peoples, Jazzy Jeff, Will.I.Am, Blackalicious, and Bahamadia), the disc does exactly that and more — giving us some real hip-hop. The music’s tight, the beats hard, and the rhymes deep. The supa-est of sistas, Ursula Rucker, also chimes in with her hyper afro-feminist profundities with the help of King Britt, DJ Revolution, DJ Spooky, Rob Swift, DJ Rhettmatic, and Teargass and Plateglass — perfect accompaniments for the poetic pugilist.
Being Black is a strong compilation as well as a beautiful celebration of African-American culture. It reverberates with pride and strength and damned good music.