N.A.S.A. | The Spirit of Apollo

Anti- (2009)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  February 18, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars

090220-nasa_main
I could fill up my allotted space by simply listing the plethora of cameos, not to mention incongruous match-ups, stuffed within this Benetton ad of a debut by Squeak E. Clean and DJ Zegan, a/k/a N.A.S.A. (North America South America). The Spirit of Apollo offers a who's who of hip-hop, from KRS-One and Chuck D to Chali 2na and a fraction of Wu-Tang (even ODB gives a shout-out, from beyond the grave!), who rhyme over hooks sung by strange bedfellows like David Byrne, Tom Waits, and Karen O. But N.A.S.A.'s ethos of u-n-i-t-y promotes the sum of the parts rather than the motley pieces. It's a post-Obama record (we are not black MCs and white singers — we are American musicians!), and post-Funkadelic, too, as George Clinton reminds us in the all-inclusive jam "There's a Party." The beats are eminently funky, the rhymes tight, and the topics decidedly old-school: plain-spoken boasts, the rejection of greed, and an acknowledgment of our communal evolution indicate the overall tone. Plus, any record that uses a sample of Richard Nixon to further its agenda of togetherness must have its heart in the right place.
Related: Slideshow: N.A.S.A., Madness 2012 and Big Digits, Cam'Ron, I scream, you scream, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Hip-Hop and Rap, Music,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY ZETH LUNDY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   BROWN BIRD | FITS OF REASON  |  March 18, 2013
    Brown Bird, a boundary-pushing Americana duo from Rhode Island, make music that touches upon that can't-put-my-finger-on-it amalgamation of past and future sounds.
  •   NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS | PUSH THE SKY AWAY  |  February 20, 2013
    Much like the similarly low-key The Boatman's Call , Cave's highly anticipated 15th album with the Bad Seeds manages the puzzling feat of making a great band seem inconsequential, if not entirely absent.
  •   SCOTT WALKER | BISH BOSCH  |  November 27, 2012
    Scott Walker's late-period about-face is one of the strangest in the annals of pop music.
  •   BILL WITHERS | THE COMPLETE SUSSEX AND COLUMBIA ALBUMS  |  October 31, 2012
    Bill Withers has always been the down-to-earth, odd-man-out of the '70s soul brothers: he's the one who came bearing a lunch box on the cover of his relaxed 1971 debut, Just as I Am .
  •   R.E.M. | DOCUMENT [25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION]  |  September 19, 2012
    Fans of R.E.M. enjoy arguing over which album was the band's true shark-jump, but 1987's Document was inarguably the end of a groundbreaking era.

 See all articles by: ZETH LUNDY