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Sick Symphoniez – Sickside Stories

Where have all the revolutionaries gone?

Well, they’re actually not as far away as you think. Public Enemy just released a new album on the second of August; and M-1 and (of Dead Prez) have made guest spots their second home, almost like they are completing mixtapes by the dozen.

However, the revolution will still not be televised. But don’t tell that to the melding of seasoned and eager MC’s known as Sick Symphonies. As representatives of the Latino heads, they also have something to say about the state of our wonderful nation.


Sick Symphoniez is the twisted mind meld of the late Psycho Realm as helmed by Cynic, Crow, DJ FM, and Sick Jacken. On their debut album, Sickside Stories, the quartet—who also self-produced the entire disk, along with guitarist Ricardo and keyboard player Saint Louis, under the moniker of Drug Lab—wax poetic about all sorts of ills within the community. Combining live instruments and samples in a mix that allow their words an urgency that has been seldom seen in the rap genre of late, they reflect on topics as broad as government and war, and as personal as their time apart and on the road.

But this album isn’t just for the barrio. Though birthed in the bowels of L.A., Sickside reaches out to all those individuals who feel they have been lied to, cheated, stepped on, and unheard in a new millennium that seems bent on breaking spirits.

Starting out with an interlude that mocks the current head of state, one George W. Bush, the group doesn’t hesitate to get down to brass tacks. Over an up-tempo track that lands somewhere between The Bomb Squad and Kanye West, they let their politics be known on “Cointelpro.” The first single, “In This Lifetime,” is the obligatory autobiographical cut. However, its old school overtones and sped up vocal sample allow the radio-friendly track to rise above the mundane.

The impressive “Times We’re Living In” is fueled by a 70’s styled soul track, and embodies the same spirit of working man blues as relayed by Isaac Hayes and others of that era. Meanwhile, “If It Happened To You,” pays homage to the aforementioned Dead Prez with a track and delivery that bring to mind the nation’s most dedicated freedom fighters.

With additional titles like “#1 Target,” “Tax Evaders,” “Fuckin’ Robots,” and “Reason To Fight,” and beats that bang combined with sick lyrics, this revolution doesn’t need to be televised; but it should heard.

Get your streets up and support these blue collar champions.


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