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Etched in Black

Posted Mar 13 2006

Review of album album by Detroit hip hop group. (City View, Oct. 1999)

Fifteen tracks deep, Etched in Black find themselves all over the musical map. A little bit of gospel, a touch of blues, a smidgen of rock and a whole lot of hip hop. Part of the fun of this CD is trying to figure out which producer or rapper's style was imitated on each song. Timbaland, Mase, DMX, Onyx and Kid Rock are all here. Well, at least in spirit. Lyrically, Etched in Black's topics range from boasts about their sexual prowess to battling wack MCs. The strongest track is "Cut the Bullshit Out," a call for young, wayward men to reconsider their lifestyle. The group does a good job of connecting their subject matter with day to day situations as they ask "why is it you walk your pitbulls more than you walk your son?" A simple, yet powerful question to all the deadbeat "thugs," keepin' it real in the streets. While diversity can be a positive thing, as a whole, this CD sounded like a project in the works-a brainstorm of ideas with no apparent direction. Hopefully the group will gain focus as it matures. Until then, you might want to hold onto your fifteen bones.

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