Tragic Epilogue

Anti Pop Consortium

75 Ark Records, 2000

REVIEW BY: Jason Thornberry


Hip-hop is a funny thing. Just when you're about to throw up your hands and swear that you've heard it all, that there isn't anything new that can be done with it, along comes something else.

I've been into hip-hop since the first grade -- roughly when it first emerged as a type of music. The Bee Gees and disco music in general were acting out the public's need for a 1970s phenomena -- like grunge, poodle-haired 80s metal, the boy-band crisis, rap-metal, McPunk, or diet rock, that were all significant parts of the tiny eras they were/are inhabiting. Hip-hop's timing, at the peak of Travolta and disco fevuh, only made the many naysayers seem like they were correct. When disco expired, though, and hip-hop proved through Grandmaster Flash, UTFO, and LL Cool J (among others) that it was only beginning, it confused a bunch of prog-rockers and/or closet racists who only wanted to enjoy white music made by white people. To them, James Brown is just that funny black dude who pops up in movies like my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Rocky 34 all the time, and sweats profusely, even at night. Their music collection is probably so sanitary and perfect, so lily-white, that even the thought of having Run DMC's "Walk This Way" on the television when their friends popped over unannounced was a major source of embarrassment. A blow to their sense of…sense.

The Anti Pop Consortium don't make a lot of...sense. First off, their name: They don't have a bitch-killah moniker that lets people know that toying with them will put somebody's momma in a black dress in a few days. Plus they don't loudly exhale pot-smoke on Skit #3002 of their quadruple cd (each disc having over a half hour of "intros"), and 89% of their album isn't one big, long boring diatribe about A) how they are just preposterously endowed, and make mules self-conscious, B) the mind-boggling quantities of pussy that gets thrown at them daily, C) their names and faces being on every police blotter in the world, even in places they've never been, or D) they'll kill you two times for daring to make direct eye contact with them. Then they'll give your momma anal sexual healing. On your coffin.

If I was an A&R man that's the kind of lyrics I'd expect to get from either High Priest, Beans, Sayyid, or Earl Blaize. Instead of that, I hear "Shark infested water, message in a bottle, no man is an island. Individual visual MC. Me? I love life."

I've always had a list of what I thought were the best hip-hop albums of all time (in no order they are, thus far): It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back (by Public Enemy), 36 Chambers (The Wu-Tang Clan), Endtroducing (DJ Shadow), Tical (Method Man), 3030 (Deltron), Hard to Earn (Gang Starr), and ATLiens (Outkast). Dr. Octagonecolgyst (Dr. Octagon) has, since it came out in 1996, to me, been the ultimate, the Pet Sounds of hip-hop. Having said that, I consider Tragic Epilogue the rap Revolver.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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