Hip-hop revolutionaries can fit various profiles: There are those whose fist-pumping fervor comes with a healthy serving of frothing rage (Immortal Technique) and those who style themselves rebels but skirt tackling issues with any substance (Common). On “Revolution Cocktail,” Reks finds plenty of room to express his pointed views on politics and society somewhere between those two extremes. The militant aggression sets “Cocktail” off with the runaway breakbeat on “Molotov” and continues on “Trust Us,” featuring a reborn Bishop Lamont ripping Tea Party politics with gusto. As aggressive as he can be, Reks shows his depth when switching up speeds, easing into the jazz lounge keys of “Golden” and “Caged Bird,” a standout production from Introspective Minds that brings out some of the album’s best verses (“Godspeed to the ones who wasn’t raised like Cosbys, no Cliff and Claire to give care” he laments). The album rewards close listening to fully enjoy Reks’s talents as a storyteller (“Judas”) and pure MC (“Melancholy”), but at an exhausting 22 tracks there’s maybe too much to digest in one sitting, and a few inevitable yawners (“I Remember” and the out-of-context “Showoff”). Overall, this is a potent mix.
Essential "Judas"Martín Caballero can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @_el_caballero.