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Album Review

Eastern Conference/Def Jux labelmates Cage and Camu Tao team up for this incisively outlandish concept album that uses the relatively obscure 1981 Sylvester Stallone/Billy Dee Williams' film Nighthawks as its' driving premise. Cage and Tao twist the plot lines of the film to create a darkly humorous album that exposes New York as a city bent on corruption, fundamentally at the law enforcement level. While the notion of NYC as the ultimate in American capitalism to its gaudy and morally deleterious extreme is not novel, the two underground MCs pull it off with equal doses of crime-core and tongue-in-cheek social satire.

The German-born Cage, known for his work on Rawkus' Smut Peddlers' project, his solo album Movies For The Blind, and his infamous feuds with fellow Caucasian blender-head Eminem, shines as a gifted rhyme-ripper with a penchant for the punchline. Cage, reveling in the role of Deke DaSilva (Stallone), offers lyrics that are single-mindedly stark, invariably turning phrases with pornographic and/or bloodthirsty elements. The lyricist's Gothic qualities make him the perfect master of ceremonies for this supposed diatribe/glorification of Gotham's seamy underbelly.

The unheralded Camu Tao also holds his own on the microphone, playing an equally twisted sidekick- Matthew Fox (Billy Dee)- to Cage's hell-bent Stallone. Tao also doubles as a producer (seven tracks) for the album's squirmy, gurgling score. While not an easy or an engaging listen, the album is effective in that it has the ability to put the fear of God in the listener, at times playing like a scene from a classic crooked cop flick (Serpico), at others, perhaps giving glimpses of a shifty NYPD shakedown or even a dark and dreary Big Apple holding cell. Guest appearances include Eon and Mighty Mi of The High & Mighty, and Tame One, formerly of Artifacts' fame. ~ M.F. DiBella, Rovi

Customer Reviews


Cage Kennylz & Camutao destroy. Best song Cop Hell. Every Cage fan needs this!

Unexpected hit!

This joint is fire.

Concept Album at its best

this is one of the coolest concept albums ever. check it out for sure


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Taking their name from a famous painting by Edward Hopper, the atmospheric jazz duo Nighthawks is comprised of bassist Dal Martino and trumpeter Reiner Winterschladen. The duo's previous credentials are quite impressive — Martino has worked with the likes of Wolf Maahn and Jaki Liebezeit, while Winterschladen has been a member of the NDR Big Band since 1995, in addition to playing with the European Jazz Ensemble, the Manfred Schoof Big Band, and Rausch. Both players came up with the idea of...
Full Bio
Nighthawks, Nighthawks
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Customer Ratings

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