Indie Rap hero and Prefix favorite Sole is currently prepping his fourth solo studio album, A Ruthless Criticism of Everything Existent—a Kickstarter-funded record which is due out Nov. 13—and as the title absolutely implies, it'll contain that same level of outspoken sociopolitical criticism.
Take the latest sample, "Letter To A Young Rapper," for instance. Taking a more humorous approach, the former Anticon head lyrically builds a critique against the typical breed of today's MCs, while simultaneously paying homage to Gang Starr and Beastie Boys. It all comes over the top of a dreamy, digital soundbed, courtesy of the evermore in-demand Ryan Hemsworth.
You can stream "Letter To A Young Rapper" and read Sole's foreword on the track below. [SPIN]
A lot of the music I've been making is pretty heavy political stuff. I figured it'd been a long time since I made a fun, sarcastic kind of song addressing hip-hop, but I wanted to do it in a way that wasn't the traditional 'bitter indie rapper dissing bling' kinda shit. Partly because I'm a fan of more mainstream rap but mostly because it's not up to some white dude to lecture the hip-hop community.
I think a lot about the profound impact artists like KRS, Public Enemy, and XCLAN had on me as a kid. Music back then inspired me to read, to learn more, to think critically. In these harsh times there are far too few popular rap acts provoking that sort of militant critical thinking like those guys did, and that has repurcussions.
This song is my way of politely nudging [rappers] away from making things that are escapist, immediate and recycled. It's also an ode to lost causes — do what you feel, take that shit to the grave if you have to, fuck it.