The young and ambitious hip-hop group Blackalicious emerged from the underground during the late Nineties. Their debut album established them as one of the West Coast's top outfits, but it was the follow-up Blazing Arrow that earned them major acclaim. This second studio album was originally released in 2002 on MCA Records. The album features several guest appearances, including Zack de la Rocha (Rage Against The Machine), Gil Scott-Heron, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Cut Chemist and Chali 2NA (Jurassic 5), amongst others.
Blackalicious was known for their 'positive tip.' In other words, their lyrics have often been spiritual and uplifting rather than violent or misogynistic. The group consisted of DJ/producer Chief Xcel and rapper Gift of Gab.
Blazing Arrow is available as a 20th anniversary edition.
...Blazing Arrow, is simply fantastic, vaulting the duo to the forefront of the progressive hip-hop pack. Much of Blazing Arrow retains NIA's airy, laconic feel, but the group's sense of craft has improved to a startling degree; the hooks are sharper and more plentiful, Gift of Gab's rhymes are denser, Chief Xcel's production is more breathtakingly lush, and his arrangements more sophisticated. What's more, the tracks draw from a rich sonic palette - not just the expected jazz-funk and old-school influences, but straight pop (check the Nilsson sample on the title track) and smooth soul (particularly the Philly variety, but also the contemporary neo-soul revival) in particular. In spite of the duo's intellectual bent, the grooves on Blazing Arrow exude a tremendous warmth that's only complemented by the positivity of their messages. And if Gift of Gab wasn't recognized among hip-hop's premier lyricists before, he certainly ought to be now; his raps are jam-packed with internal rhymes, allusions, metaphors, ten-cent words, and amazing tongue-twisting feats of skill.... All the pieces add up to not just one of the best rap albums of 2002, but one of the richest, most captivating albums to emerge from hip-hop's artsy new underground.
- 20th Anniversary Edition
- 180g Audiophile Vinyl
- Double LP
- Gatefold Sleeve
- Made in the Netherlands
- Introduction: Bow And Fire
- Blazing Arrow
- Sky Is Falling
- First In Flight featuring Gil Scott-Heron
- Green Light: Now Begin
- 4000 Miles featuring Chali 2NA of Jurassic 5 and Lateef The Truth Speaker
- Nowhere Fast
- Paragraph President
- It's Going Down featuring Lateef The Truth Speaker and Keke Wyatt
- Make You Feel That Way
- Brain Washers featuring Ben Harper
- Chemical Calisthenics featuring Cut Chemist of Jurassic 5
- Aural Pleasure featuring Jaguar Wright
- Passion featuring Rakaa & Babu of Dilated Peoples
- Purest Love
- Release Part 1, 2, & 3 featuring Saul Williams and Lyrics Born
- Day One