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Life Force Radio

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Album Review

Afu-Ra's sophomore effort, the aptly titled Life Force Radio, is an album that manages to cover every form of hip-hop in a collection of 17 impressive tracks. This Rastafarian doesn't bother to busy himself with the overdone ghetto glamour that crews such as No Limit and Cash Money dispense, and instead steers toward a more intelligent form of rap. "Stick Up" does have themes common to the gangsta style, yet Afu-Ra's flows are far from generic, which helps add weight to the cut and lets this song aspire to a whole different plane than the over-produced faceless clones plaguing the rap scene. Throughout the album, Afu-Ra's talent prevails as a dominating new force in a scene that foolishly overlooked his debut, and this hip-hop prodigy could be given the same respect as Nas, the Roots, and Jurassic 5. Undeniable skill and prowess invade every crevice on Life Force Radio, whether on the spunky love tune "Open" or the straight-up club smash "Hip Hop," and not once does Afu-Ra disappoint. The album also features heavyweight performances from such notable MCs as RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan, M.O.P., and Guru, as well as additional production by Easy Mo Bee and True Master. Over all of this, DJ Premier's spectacular production gives the album a life of its own. Enjoyable, moving, and remarkably clever, Life Force Radio should finally bring recognition to one of hip-hop's freshest and most entertaining new faces. ~ Jason D. Taylor, Rovi


Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

From his 1994 breakout on Jeru the Damaja's "Mental Stamina," Afu-Ra has fused classic East Coast hardcore with the sensitive, intelligent wordplay expected from a committed Rastafarian. He started out much like any other young New York rapper, though his rhymes impressed Jeru the Damaja enough to include him on his debut. Becoming a Jeru protégé (just as Jeru had come up with Gang Starr), Afu-Ra appeared on the second Jeru album (Wrath of the Math) as well, but moved out on his own for the 1998...
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Life Force Radio, Afu-Ra
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