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Album Review

Taking a thematic cue from rapper KRS-1, Canada's Shades of Culture made their debut with Mindstate, a concept album emphasizing cultural unity and the power of knowledge over defeatism. Stunning verbal dexterity and penetrating beats on tracks such as the cautionary "Think Twice," and the motivational "Main Objective" present an antithesis to popular gangsta rap. On the whole, this makes for an uplifting, lyrically vibrant offering that employs turntable scratching and human beat box techniques laid over a foundation of rich instrumentation. Mindstate conforms to all the traditions of old school rap while simultaneously making a successful appeal to the more progressive branch of the genre.


Formed: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s

Part of a relatively unknown, yet growing cadre of Canadian hip-hop performers, Montreal's Shades of Culture are considered pioneers of the genre by many in the region. This trio from Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, consisting of DJ Shade, Revolution, and ? labored steadily throughout the '80s and '90s to perfect their considerable rap skills. The result was Mindstate, a full-length...
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Mindstate, Shades Of Culture
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