August 25, 2021

Reflection Eternal - Revolutions Per Minute (2010)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: 512766-2
.FLAC via Florenfile
.AAC 256 kbps via Florenfile

© 2010 Blacksmith Music/Warner Bros. Records
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney
Reuniting a decade after their debut, Train of Thought, Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek return with another collaboration under their Reflection Eternal moniker. Despite the gap between albums, Kweli and Hi-Tek still have the same chemistry that’s followed them from project to project. Hi-Tek’s soul-infused beats create the perfect laid-back atmosphere for Kweli’s casual verbal acrobatics, crafting beats that bring the listener into the group's chilled-out space with their minimal aesthetic. Rather than getting too lost in the crates, Hi-Tek keeps things relatively minimal, letting the beats do the heavy lifting while the samples create the proper headspace for Kweli and friends to explore. “In the Red” shows off this kind of exploratory production, where Hi-Tek’s less-is-more beat cruises along while Kweli raps about the fall of his musical heroes, saying “Shame how our heroes is broke/We call them stars/It’s because when they falling to Earth/They falling hard.” Like their last album together, Revolutions Per Minute also has some hard-hitting guest spots. Most surprising of these is “Strangers (Paranoid),” which features former UGK member Bun B stopping by to drop some verses on the topic of government bailouts. The biggest treat for Black Star fans will be the star-packed “Just Begun,” featuring Jay Electronica, J. Cole, and Kweli’s former Black Star partner, Mos Def. The track really captures that Native Tongues old school meets new school feeling, reminding us what made Black Star so good while making us all scratch our heads as we wonder why Jay Electronica isn’t more famous. Revolutions Per Minute is an album that’s been a long time coming, and Kweli and Hi-Tek prove once again that there’s more to rap than club bangers, delivering another dose of socially and politically conscious music that’s more about opening people’s eyes to what’s happening in the world than telling them how to feel about it.

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tags: reflection eternal, revolutions per minute, 2010, flac,