Remember the golden days of 1988, when hip-hop was, more or less, a voice of protest as yet unencumbered with gangsta clichés such as bling, bullet wounds as fashion accessories, and misogyny? Paris does. And he’s bringing that beat back with Acid Reflex, an album of potent political messages delivered in block-rocking beats that’s on par with the best work of Boogie Down Productions, Dead Prez, and even Public Enemy. (Paris has been a member of the Public Enemy camp for some time, as a producer, collaborator, and CEO of the Guerilla Funk label.)
Acid Reflex delivers a selection of 14 politically inspired tracks and one remix. It’s perfectly timed to coincide with the election. Paris considers timely topics such as war, racism, and negativity in hip-hop. The album has an old-school vibe that’s heavy on the funk, relying on a foundation of soulful riffs, as opposed to the sub-bass rhythmic destruction of much of today’s hip-hop. Likewise, the rhymes are delivered at a steady, intelligible pace—all the better, because he’s actually got something important to say.