Artist: A-AlikesTitle: I Eat You EatRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Abran Maldonado
Chuck D sets the tone for the album on it's opening lines: "You cannot talk above the people/You can't talk to the people/You gotta talk with the people." A-Alikes K and Ness have achieved a great feat with their debut album, I Eat You Eat (Guerilla Nation/Nervous). They have succeeded where many have failed by maintaining a balance between the music and the message. I Eat You Eat brings you the formula for real street gutta music while dropping gems on how to survive living the street life. You may believe rappers who glorify violence when they say they are "keepin' it real" and reppin' for the streets until you hear what representing your people actually sounds like.
A-Alikes came through like true heads would to a war, prepared with a winning strategy and with honorable soldiers by their side. I Eat You Eat features the lyrical contributions of dead prez's M-1 and stic.man, the soulful vocals of Bilal and Maya Azucena and heavy hitting production from the likes of D/R Period, Ayatollah, Black Jeruz and others whom are all veterans in crafting street anthems. The track "Protocol" can teach you a few lessons on how to hold your own the next time Jake tries to roll up. Lines like, "You know the protocol/You don't gotta tell 'em sh*t when you on the wall/Just make sure you get your phone call/Hold your head and don't snitch, if you do you're on your own" emphasize how not to be intimidated by profiling and letting cops know how a learned hustla can stay a step ahead of Po Po so long as you have the power of knowledge. Street anthems like "What's your Politic?" and "More Than Music" were both produced by first ballot hall of famer D/R Period. "What's Your Politic" snitches on flashy rappers who are just asking to get got: "If ya come thru on some stuntin' sh*t/Best believe a hungry nigga gon' want yo sh*t!" "More Than Music" should be a single, it conveys the overall theme but does so in a way to keep the gangstas engaged. D/R Period delivers an "Ante Up" style track bringing a edge to the beat that gets you ready to throw your fist up and mash out, along with dirty drums and a kick bass that smackks you in the face.
A-Alikes came hard representing the People's Army but lack the musical dynamics of their counterparts' debut, dead prez's Let's Get Free. However, they prove you can spit for the streets and teach your people, setting precedence and a formula that should be more prevalent in street music. K and Ness are A-Alikes with the people and know the formula of articulating the anger we feel everyday and speak for us in ways we could not do for ourselves.