In the hectic times we are living in today, what music is more appropriate than that revolutionary but gangsta sound Dead Prez presents with "Get Free Or Die Trying"? Continuing the tradition of great revolutionary Hip Hop music laid before them by artists such as Public Enemy & Ice Cube, Dead Prez is leading the new age movement and has finally started to get the recognition they deserve. "Get Free Or Die Trying" is the second installment in the "Turn Off The Radio" series and like its predecessor, delivers the usual combination of revolutionary power, political insight and uncompromising opinionated stances.
It is this formula that has made Dead Prez the new age political leaders of Hip Hop, as they combine all the aspects of those that have come before them. They posses the raw anger and mindset of an early Ice Cube with the insight of a Chuck D, along with the black pride of the legendary X-Clan. All of this and more continues to be showcased on "Get Free Or Die Trying".
The album, like all others released by Dead Prez and the RBG family, relies mostly on the struggle involved in the urban community and the ways in which one has to strive to overcome such obstacles. "Tallahassee 93" is a tale of such pain and struggle, as the powerful track paints a picture of what it was like growing up in Tallahassee. "When Mama Cries" is the tale of street soldiers lost in the struggle and the pain that each mother or close friend has to go through dealing with such a loss. "Windows To My Soul" is a similar effort where Stic.man vividly recounts watching his older brother turn into a drug addict and the pain the whole family had to go through during such times.
As with any Dead Prez album, the true highlights come from those revolutionary, politically charged tracks that hold nothing back. "F The Law" finds Dead Prez in their usual mold with lines such as "Slap a white boy, snuff your landlord. Smash the windows, break the camcorder. Rob the corner store, rob the precinct. Take the CO, stab your DT. Pimp the system, bang for freedom. Fuck the high school, burn the prisons". On the "White House Is The Rock House", Dead Prez along with Ms. Erykah Badu exposed the crooked and corrupt ways of the government. "The White House is the rock house and Uncle Sam is the number one pusha man…come on man, how do you think niggas in the hood get Columbian raw, when we hungry and poor, the CIA selling crack out the back door and lying on the platform".
With every release the legacy of Dead Prez grows stronger, no matter their unpopular industry image and negative mainstream appeal. Hip Hop is in strong need of artists like Dead Prez and with new emcees coming to the forefront of the political spectrum like Immortal Technique, we may very well see the rebirth of political rap. But if not, make no mistake about it, Dead Prez and the RBG family will continue to strive for what they believe in and keep making that music the system does not want you to hear.