B. Dolan | Fallen House, Sunken City

Strange Famous (2010)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  February 24, 2010
3.5 3.5 Stars


Although I've always found B. Dolan to be one of hip-hop's mightiest politically charged performers, his disc-length poetic pieces have confused (and even bored) the piss out of me. That said, numbskulls (like me) who like to wash down anarchy with speaker candy can thank Anticon legend Alias for laying a dozen fine frameworks through which the Strange Famous underboss could, as old white folks say, "do some raps."

There are thousands of MCs who rhyme about high-ranking war criminals and corporate genocide, but few wax progressive notes like Dolan. Like his long-time accomplice Sage Francis, Dolan plays both the abstract artist and the accessible bong-toking poly-sci professor.

It takes a liner note and lyric look-along to absorb the full dose, but "Marvin" clicks immediately. Same goes for the thoughtfully morbid "Border Crossing" and "Kitchen Sink," on which Dolan throws everything from introspection to a wee bit of bounce. Most important, though, is the way a jab like "Buddy Buddy" can criticize without pointing fingers. Indeed, "Fifty Ways" exposes whores better than any righteous subterranean attack on Young Jeezy's vapidity.

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