June 20, 2022

Source of Labor - Stolen Lives (2001)

*First pressing. 
Contains 19 tracks total. 
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: None

© 2001 Jasiri Media Group
Stolen Lives is the sophomore project from Source of Labor, released on the heels of Full Circle, an EP that received some critical acclaim. From the start, it's impossible to separate the SoL style from their obvious influence, the Roots. The problem here is that SoL attempts to effect the live-instrument production feel almost entirely through synthetic measures (most glaring is the pervasive, billowy effects-ridden keyboard that is a clear homage to the Roots crew). Head MC Wordsayer's (who also moonlights as a high school creative writing teacher in inner-city Seattle) well-constructed, politically-tinged lyrics often mesh well with the swampy production of Negus I and Vitamin D, but the Roots formula is followed so precisely that there is even an Ursula Rucker sound-alike on the spoken word-styled track "Invaded Lands." While SoL's sentiments and attempt at hip-hop reclamation are worthwhile and undeniably authentic, their stylistic employ comes off sounding rather unoriginal. In the end, if you're looking for something exceptional from hip-hop's "Wetlands," you're simply S.O.L.

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tags: source of labor, stolen lives, 2001, flac,