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Editorial: @Alterbeats- Class Struggle [Review]

Alright, so when I was first assigned this project, I was a bit skeptical about reviewing a full length LP put out by a producer who had a bunch of collaborating artists on the project. Projects like that usually feel like a collective of tracks rather than a cohesive album/mixtape. However if there was one project that fit the cohesiveness of an album/mixtape it would be Alterbeats’s Class Struggle.

Words cannot express how bad I wanted to be in the golden age of hip-hop, when the legends were up and coming and putting out sublime music. During this golden age of hip-hop, many different societal issues were being spread to the masses through the spread of this music, leading to many monumental societal changes in the U.S. These issues still hold relevance to today’s world and Class Struggle attempts to put modern issues with that 90’s sounding music. Class Struggle does this job efficiently, putting the listener in a 1990’s early hip-hop sounding environment, complete with the dope artists and the dope production.

The intro track starts off with Verbal Kent spitting bars on “”Who’s The Next””, complete with a sample that makes me feel like I’m playing Castlevania. What’s more important is the way this track teleports you into the collective story of “Class Struggle”. As the LP continues on, you can hear the main message behind “Class Struggle“. It speaks to the voice of the people on the lower end of social status, dealing with issues such as poverty, trust issues between friendships, and the importance of unification.

By the time you get to the seventh track, “”Stop It””, the project switches up into a more gritty feel. The issues that the artists talk about from here on out are spoken with such futurity from the artists, that you can’t help but feel amazed by the way these bars come out of the speakers. You get the sense that these issues really are problems that the everyday citizen can rile up and oppose at any moment. These messages are nicely wrapped up on the last track “”The Unit”” with the nice phrase “We all in this forever” chant, speaking to the unification of the people against these social issues.

If you’re not into the message between the tracks of “Class Struggle”, you can still enjoy this project. This project has a lot of the gritty feeling production of the golden age, complete with the hard basslines, boom-bap drums, and amazing DJ scratches. Consistently throughout the project you can hear bars, and I don’t know about you but I like the consistent bars being spoon fed to me through my speakers.

Overall if you’re into hip-hop and its roots, you’ll firmly enjoy this project. Alterbeats did great in providing the canvas for these artists and it only got better as the project went on.

You can stream the album here on DJBooth.net or purchase the project on iTunes here.

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