Let's Get Free

Infobox Album |
Name = Let's Get Free
Type = Album
Artist = dead prez


Released = March 14 2000
Recorded = 1998-2000
Genre = Underground Rap
Length = 69:30
Label = Loud Records
Producer = dead prez
Hedrush
Lord Jamar
Kanye West
Reviews = * Allmusic Rating|4.5|5 [http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:78420r2au48i link]
* Rolling Stone Rating|4|5 [http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/album/207357/review/6068052/lets_get_free link]
* The Source Rating|3.5|5 [http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1110947&BAB=M link]
* "NME"Rating|4|5 [http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1110947&BAB=M link]
* CMJ (B) [http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1110947&BAB=M link]

Last album =
This album = "Let's Get Free"
(2000)
Next album = ""
(2002)

"Let's Get Free" is the debut album by the political hip hop duo dead prez, released on February 8, 2000 (see 2000 in music) on Loud Records.

Critically acclaimed upon its first release, "Let's Get Free" was called a "return to politically conscious rap" [http://www.poundmag.com/magazine/reviews/elpees/deadprez/deadprez.html] and "the most politically conscious rap since Public Enemy"; the duo's messages also earned them favorable comparisons with Brand Nubian and X-Clan. The album's lyrics, performed in front of sparse beats that many critics derided as a "dull musical backdrop" [http://www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/d/deadprez-lets.html] , are startlingly direct, militant and confrontational. M-1 and stic.man excoriate the media, the music industry, politicians and poverty, and rap about Afrocentrism and Black Power. "Rolling Stone" gave the album four stars and lauded its equation of "classrooms with jail cells, the projects with killing fields and everything from water to television with conduits for brainwashing by the system" [http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/cd/review.asp?aid=62149] .

Overview

The record opens with a speech by Chairman Omali Yeshitela, of the InterNational Peoples Democratic Uhuru Movement, describing a method of hunting which lures wolves to suicide, and makes the analogy to self-destruction fueled by crack in the black community.

The duo's radical pan-Africanism is brought up a notch on the album's first rap, "I'm a African", which contains the lyric "I'm a African/Never was a African-American". The same song explains their musical stance as "somewhere between N.W.A. and P.E.", referring to the two major hip-hop groups of late 1980s hip hop, West Coast's hard-edged, violent gangstas, N.W.A., and East Coast's militant activists, Public Enemy.

"They Schools" assaults the dominance of whites in the public education system in the United States, from the accusatory title to the opening, "I went to school with some redneck crackers/right around the time 3rd Bass dropped "The Cactus Album", referring to an interracial, middle-class trio from the East Coast.

"Hip-Hop," the most well known song from the album clearly states their beliefs concerning the modern music industry being over-commercialized. They also illustrate their beliefs, stating "Who shot Biggie Smalls/If we don't get them they gon' get us all, I'm down for runnin' up on them crackers in they City Hall."

"Animal in Man" is a retelling of George Orwell's "Animal Farm" and begins with a sound excerpt from the movie Beneath the Planet of the Apes. "Behind Enemy Lines" namechecks Black Panther Fred Hampton.

Among the rallying cries for black liberation/socialism, Dead Prez include entreaties for self-respect/love: "Be Healthy" is about eating right ('Lentil soup is/mental fruit'); "Mind Sex" is about getting to know your lover and appreciate a person's mind as well as their body ('maybe later we could play a game of/chess on the futon'); "Discipline" is a how-to for achieving one's goals; and "Happiness" is about warm weather as a tool for the liberation struggle. Dead Prez also disclose their atheism in the track "Propaganda" ('I believe man created God out of ignorance and fear').

As well as hip-hop beats, many tracks contain live instruments, such as "Psychology", "Animal in Man", and "You'll Find a Way."

Track listing

ingles chart positions

Personnel

*stic.man — Lead vocals, production, executive producer, art direction
*M-1 - Lead vocals, production, executive producer, art direction
*Hedrush — Production, drum programming
*Lord Jamar — Production
*Kanye West — Production
*Tahir (of Hedrush) - Vocals
*Maintain (of Illegal Tendencies) - Vocals
*Indo (of People's Army) - Additional vocals
*Abu (of People's Army) - Additional vocals
*Keanna Henson — Additional vocals
*Ness (of A-Alikes) - Additional vocals
*Toya (of People's Army) - Additional vocals
*Divine (of People's Army) - Additional vocals
*Umi — Additional vocals
*Becca's Smoke and Candy Store — Additional vocals, keyboards
*Abiodun Oyewole (of The Last Poets) - Additional vocals
*Prodigy (of Mobb Deep) - Additional vocals
*Dedan (of Illegal Tendencies) - Additional vocals
*Nimrod (of Illegal Tendencies) - Additional vocals
*True Image — Additional vocals
*Mark Batson — Keyboards
*Christos Tsantilios — Recording, mixing
*Blair Wells — Recording
*Nastee — Recording
*Doug Wilson — Mixing
*Bernard Grubman — Guitar
*Pressure of Fambase — Keyboards
*Melvin Gibbs — Bass
*Laura J. Seaton-Finn — Strings
*Joshua — Horns
*Mista Sinista (of The X-Ecutioners) - Scratching
*Sean Cane — Drug programming, executive producer
*Matt Life — Executive producer, A&R
*Schott Free — Executive producer, A&R
*A. Jabbar — Assistant A&R
*Malachi — Assistant A&R
*Lincoln Weir — A&R administration
*Tra Frazier — A&R administration
*Kyesha Bennett — Product manager
*Exodus — Management
*Stuart "Kamau" Lyle — Cover concept
*Kerry DeBruce — Art direction, design
*Lorraine West — Illustration
*Anthony Cutajar — Album photography
*Saba — Road photography
*Corbis — Archival images

Miscellanea

* "Hip-Hop" was used as the introductory song for Dave Chappelle and his hit show "Chappelle's Show".
* "We Want Freedom" uses a sample from The Windmills of Your Mind, a song from 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair, and popularized further by Jose Feliciano. It is not clear which rendition of the song is featured as the sample on the record Let's Get Free.
* "Hip-Hop" is also in the skate. soundtrack.
* "Hip-Hop" was sampled by DJ Cinema in the song "The Martian" on the Lil' Wayne mixtape "Starring in Mardi Gras".
* "Hip-Hop" is on the the Loud Rocks Album. [http://www.chappellecenter.com/?pg=faq]


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