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On Earth as it is in Heaven: Jay Electronica & Immortal Technique

*These songs contain cursing

Watch the Throne is the name of the Kanye West/Jay-Z super team-up album that debuted earlier this year. I have listened to a few of the songs, and they aren’t bad, they’re just not spectacular. Other critics have complained that the album focuses too much on commercialism in a time of great economic turmoil. While they may have a point about the awkwardness of rapping about wealth in a time where a lot of people are going broke, my real issue is that these guys played it safe.

If you want to make a statement that you are the best at something and that all other competitors are subservient, I expect a stronger effort. And these two rap icons just seemed like they didn’t spend as much time on the lyrics as the production. One critic summed it up perfectly when he said he felt that these two liked each other too much to put out a strong album.

Rap has strong roots in competition. That’s why the internet goes crazy every time someone thinks they hear a diss towards another rapper on someone’s song. When two rappers go at it, it brings out the best in both of them.

While I am by no means supporting rap beef spilling over into real life, I would like to see more rappers take the gloves off when it comes to their peers and start naming names again like Tupac did in “hit em up

But the album did get me thinking about what musical team ups I would like to see. I would have loved to hear the tracks on a Biggie Smalls/Big Pun album. Could you imagine the sheer insanity of a Tupac/Eminem collaboration? But if we are limiting ourselves to living musicians then there are only two names that come to my mind.

Jay Electronica + Immortal Technique = dividing by zero on Mt. Olympus.

These two rappers are legends in the underground scene. Whenever someone tells me that they hate rap, I tell them that they just need to listen to different rappers, and then I suggest these two.

They bring different things to the table but the combination would be oh so sweet.

Immortal Technique:

This guy brings such a force and presence to his music that the term “political” seems like too small a word. Yes, he does talk about politics, but he has such a righteous anger that it feels more like a battle cry than a song. And he’s no idiot either; news organizations seek him out for interviews because he actually practices what he preaches. I cannot recommend this man enough, especially to those who claim that rap is only about materialism. Immortal Technique is not about bling, money, mercy, or compromise; he is about radical change by any means necessary.

*Best example: Revolutionary

Jay Electronica:

The only other artist I can really compare this man too is Jimmy Hendrix because they both made mastering their craft look so easy. Jay Electronica can rap over anything. Some rappers rely too much on a strong beat for a song but Electronica could have a guy coughing in the background and I would still love it. His subject matter ranges from Hurricane Katrina to other-worldly visions.  He is a lyrical genius, plain and simple. He is also heavily influenced by his Muslim faith which gives him a spiritual, monk-like aura.

*Best example: Exhibit C



I can only imagine that it would be a heavenly mix of the spiritual and political. The album would definitely be more of a competition than collaboration. These MC’s take great pride in their skills and would try to top each other with every verse. No wasted space on cars and jewels; just pure unadulterated flow. The government might even want to label it as a controlled substance because that album would be heroin for my ears. 



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