Dead Prez's emergence 10 years ago seemed to come at an odd time, as the duo's hyper-left political stance and back-to-basics musical style landed it somewhere between N.W.A. and Public Enemy - a good eight years after conscious, Afro-centric rap crested. But while many a rapper donned red, black and green liberation colors and rode the coattails of such landmark acts as X-Clan and Brand Nubian, Dead Prez wasn't flirting with revolution as trend. It was actually quite sincere. The rawness of "Let's Get Free" appealed to fans of Mobb Deep and 2Pac, while songs referencing the police state, healthy eating and the failures of the educational system endeared the duo to politically minded hip-hop fans adrift in an era of thugs and shiny suits. Dead Prez's anthem "Hip-Hop" appealed to all the partisan corners of the rap-fan populace. A decade later, the hip-hop landscape is again drastically different, but Dead Prez has remained doggedly consistent over six subsequent releases, only one of which was on a major label. They're performing at Liv, and advance tickets are available from deadprez.com.
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