Code Red (Airtight Assembly) by Jab is an album that maybe could only come from the mind of someone based in Washington, DC. As the title may suggest, Code Red is an album which explores the fears and concerns of war in all of its manifestations. That might seem like a very heavy subject, but Jab and a number of collaborators (including those on his label and some musical friends) do it in a way that makes this an album that should be in every collection.
The concept of war is on everybody's mind these days, whether it's someone being hung for their actions, people arriving home in a box, or simply the war in our minds. All of these things are explored on Code Red, done in a way that should embarrass a lot of today's top artists who aren't talking about this. It's a mixture of hip-hop and R&B, and yet some tracks (such as "Last Words") bring to mind some of the best works of The O'Jays and The Isley Brothers, while the title track sees a world a lot of rappers tend to avoid in their music.
The back cover features a photo of American currency being burned, and if there's truth to the saying that money is the root of all evil, then the flaming bills is a statement about the world we live in, and of course the music found on this CD. Anyone who doesn't believe that politiism still exists in hip-hop needs to purchase a few copies of this: one for yourself and others to give out to those who need a wake up call.
(Code Red is available through CDBaby.)
John Book - Music for America
"That's what I'm talkin' 'bout"
Ricky Wilson - "rhythmplaza.com"