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The Pedestrian

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Reseña de álbum

Clearly no rookie, 3rd Degree shows off an impressive world view on his debut album, The Pedestrian, not to mention an impressive rap technique as well. Often — actually, quite often — the underground-dwelling rappers out there surprise you with well-developed skills relative to their major-label brethren, and that's certainly the case with 3rd Degree. This dude could no doubt rap circles around a good percentage of the shiny-chained rappers dancing around with R&B hook-singers on MTV/BET circa this album's 2004 release. Unfortunately, it's another case of the same old sad story — a talented brother from the streets can't get no play because he's not down with the right A&R folks, yada, yada, yada. But you won't hear 3rd Degree shed any tears here on The Pedestrian, nor will you hear him bitterly bad-mouthing the industry. No, this album is a flat-out showcase of what this rapper can do, and what he does best is write and rap rhymes about the bright, opposed to bleak, side of life in urban America, especially his native Los Angeles. You know, themes of fun and hope and positivity rather than gang-bangin' and crack-slangin', though his seasoned street smarts certainly inform his themes; after all, growing up in South Central is no cakewalk (more like a Crip walk, most likely). Anyhow, 3rd Degree dishes up a feast here on The Pedestrian, 21 tracks in total, almost all of them produced by Yabie, who lends a DJ Quik style of beat-making to the festivities. The standout song is "Do My Thang," which gives you the lowdown on what 3rd's all about, though there's no shortage of highlights, other standouts being "Problems" (man, deep!), "Stylistic" (about being unique and setting trends rather than following them), "Hit This 40" (a socially conscious party anthem), "The One" (hip-hop, one love), "Favorite Shade of Brown" (as in showing love for all shades of skin), and "Eye Candy" (a dancehall-flavored collabo with Pupa Don). It's inconceivable to imagine The Pedestrian breaking into the mainstream — no major-label push or gloss, not to mention media-gatekeeper issues — but that shouldn't prohibit true lovers of hip-hop, especially of the West Coast underground variety, to give this album some well-deserved spins. Sometimes you gotta show love for those in the street rather than those in the Ivory Towers, and it's safe to say that 3rd Degree is just another pedestrian like so many others, albeit an especially gifted and passionate one with an abundance of first-rate rhymes he'd like to share with you sometime.

The Pedestrian, 3rd Degree
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