Today’s conscious MC is now known as an active MC. The greatest MCs have only once lived and survived the reality they speak of yet the conscious, righteous MC is expected to continue into the latest battles that they chronicle. Why? Because the shit is real, motherfucker! While all rappers and select MCs are no longer guaranteed eventual riches after being pressed on wax, the freedom fighting lyricist has and always will be on the frontlines. The Revolution is actually a fucking element of Hip Hop. So the real G’s on the street and those fans outside of Fat Beats that meet, Boots of the Coup gotta teach the kids, Chuck D must be the redeeming presence, KRS the punctuating commentator, DPZ gotta be at the activist rallies and Gods’ and Earths’ parliaments, Immortal Technique is supposed to fund an orphanage in Afghanistan and A-Alikes are supposed to “FTP!,” document oppression and offer the street protocol, codes and honor precisely at all times.
And as they all do, A-Alikes continues making their content a daily way and ethic for dealing with this devilish society. The realness of the MC is required for greatness and since their first full-length, Live or Die followed by the official release, I Eat, You Eat, they show more definitive personas, dexterity and styles with the newest mixtape release, The Hustler and the Hunted, Pt.3. Playing like a full length album, with interesting sound clips, including the chronicling of Tupac’s bucking of two pigs, Ness and K so naturally speak to issues of poverty, hopelessness, anger and frustration that have sadly been assumed irrelevant today. Revolution is not a gimmick but the word that focuses one on empowerment (“It’s more than just putting lines together like Revolution is more than just popping a cop top”). A-Alikes have the innate ability to offer the uplift from our degraded survival as oppressed Original people (Black, Latino, Indian, Asian, etc.) with a protocol of war, real ways to uphold one’s honor and a redefinition of manhood that includes taking care of the children or just…fucking caring.
The mixtape certainly shows a growth in delivery as in the rolling flow of “Do Your Time” or the stuttered pace of “A.R.T. (All Real Things), clever and insightful similes (“fake niggas move with no foundation like a mobile home”) being used over nothing but hard breaks and crisp snares. The featured cuts for their upcoming album, “Currency” and “Sirens in the Distance” with the resurgent Mos Def are great appetizers. Mixtapes today are often loosely designed albums of enticing filler for the next album. A-Alikes offer something a lot more and set up their Us Against Them LP right and exact.