Monday, August 11, 2008

Lions of the Desert

I don't remember exactly how this album came to me, but I've since known it to be one of the great unknown gems in my hip-hop collection. "Destruction of Man" came up on shuffle last night, and I realized I had to shine their light for more to see.

Great beats/flow/message, just an all-around solid album.

Here's a little more insight from their old website's bio:

Lions of the Desert who hail from Middletown, NY have shunned trendy hip-hop topics like fashion, fancy cars, foxy females and violence, and instead opt to weave their narratives around more positive and educational pursuits.
If our school and parents aren't going to open our children's eyes to the danger of the world, L.O.T.D. will. Al-Amin & longtime partner in rhyme Righteous Nova have come together and done the inevitable. Lions Of The Desert is the name of the group and their self-titled debut LP makes a statement about the attitude, politics and the mind state of today�s hip-hop scene & culture.
Al-Amin & Righteous Nova met while both were serving bids in an upstate New York penitentiary and formed a bond through their common ideologies adopted from the Nation of Islam. "...How could a man fly into a building?/how could a man strap a bomb to himself and kill innocent children?/Callin' himself a Muslim/That's not my religion/Yo it's forbidden in my way of life/I pack a gun and a knife/cause I'm prescribed to fight/I enjoy the right/the wrong is forbidden/a presence worse than slaughter/martyrdom is better than living."
It is not so much hard-line, militant preaching that L.O.T.D. do. It's more like creating social awareness and dialogue in a publicly accessible medium. They don't pretend to be saviors or prophets; they don't claim to have any answers.
They use their platform of music to attempt to reconcile the concepts of peace and struggle, and, in doing so, create an interesting and sometimes compelling document of human conflict. At the same time, they personalize their experiences and insights by presenting the listener with first-person accounts of what they know and see. Al-Amin is no stranger to the game, with over 20 appearances on the mixtape circuit, which makes him one of the games most sought after underground artists. The chemistry between these two factions is remarkable and gives them an invaluable �one-two� punch that very few duos possess. So if you�re looking for a solid album without the clutter of guest appearances and over priced producers pick up Lions Of The Desert�s Debut LP. Just 14 tracks of straight fire!!!


Word. And here's "Destruction of Man":

Lions of the Desert s/t
mind the graves