20/20

Dilated Peoples. <i> Capitol</i>

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Conflicting impulses shape the agenda on Dilated Peoples’ bracing fourth album. In the wake of the chart success of Kanye West and the tiresome Black Eyed Peas, the Los Angeles hip-hop trio has surely felt the pull of the mainstream: 20/20 boasts a couple of catchy, R&B-flavored tracks designed to pass for pop entertainment. Their hearts aren’t in it, fortunately. Beyond token sweetening, MCs Evidence and Rakaa show little interest in playing nice, whether performing silly skits about getting high, calling the commander in chief “Lucifer,” or considering the use of armed self-defense to battle racism (a recurring Peoples theme). Reinforcing the conversational raps and fat, emphatic beats, nimble DJ Babu threatens to steal the show with delightfully furious scratching that confirms a stubbornly old-fashioned outlook. As “Another Sound Mission” observes, “Can’t beat ’em, join ’em?/That’s for submission.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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