A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Ear Protection

Rebelz are three members, Justin Murta, Christopher Webb, and Darius “Professor Icee” Green. The group’s debut Ear Protection in 2002 is an earnest effort to tackle current events, politics, youthful angst, and the myriad issues facing society. For instance, “But I gotta protest that which I detest, I might just ask why the f*** should I be righteous,” from “Shame Train.”

“Til The World Endz” begins with a soundbite from a paranoid Islamophobic preacher, and the lyrics relate to Armageddon and the end of the world. “Solar flares, meteors track and impact the surface, continually bombarding souls, four horsemen riding on innocent fools.” Rebelz take it to the Land of the Rising Sun on the Japanese-language track “Kinjisuten” which Google clumsily tells me is a phrase meaning “approximate stainless.” This must be a case of something getting lost in the translation. “Limited Senses” continues the earnest themes of the album. “I don’t need guns or flames to convert all the peoples, in the eyes of Jah we are all equal.”

My favorite cut on the album is “Rebelz Are Back.” Many of the tracks on Ear Protection get lost in their self-seriousness and pedantry. This is not necessarily a bad thing as I’m all for intellectual explorations, but rap needs to be fun too, not just a classroom experience. “Rebelz Are Back” takes a break from the self awareness, and because it does it’s an excellent track. The twangy beat is addictive from the first few seconds, and the lyrics let you turn off your brain. “First class Unabomber style with the word blast, ya heard that? Throw up your fists I’ll throw a bird back.” There’s even another verse in Japanese to chew on. Did I mention that the album is earnest? Written by Novocaine132

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