Veteran hip-hop duo Dead Prez, composed of Brooklyn native M1 and Floridian stic.man, sat down with Out Da Box TV to discuss a number of issues, including their recent album Information Age, their artistic growth and the state of America. The group has always been freethinking and outspoken, and they pulled no punches when asked for their opinions on an array of topics.
stic.man describes Information Age, which was released October 16th, as “a brand new sound and spirit with the same old struggle,” noting that as a group they’ve “been growing a lot as human beings, taking life lessons and using them to continue making an impact.”
Information Age is a conceptual album and in reference to that M1 noted, “it’s hard to translate something we learn every day into music but in essence that’s what we try to do. We really tried to encompass what the highest awakening can be, in hip-hop form.”
It should be no surprise that a group renowned for their social commentary and criticism was asked about politics. In reference to President Obama’s election, M1 was cautious and reserved; “a lot of black people had a sense of satisfaction behind Barack Obama’s selection, we have a long way to go at the end of the day.”
Continuing a string of social commentary, stic.man targeted “lack of functional and progressive education” as a root cause of the continuous trend of youth violence in urban centers. As musicians, Dead Prez seeks to raise awareness; stic.man noted that “everything Dead Prez does is a drop in the bucket to try and help change circumstance.”
Their successful Turn Off The Radio mixtape series, in which both emcees rap over popular instrumentals, qualifies as one of those aforementioned drops. Many critics classify the series as simply a strategy to reach the masses, but stic.man asserts that “it’s just another creative way to do what we do. We have a perspective that is not the trend in capital America. Words are powerful, and we need to really think about what we call the mainstream.”
Dead Prez might not qualify as mainstream, but they have certainly amassed a loyal following over the years. The duo seems as focused as ever and doesn’t appear ready to stop any time soon.
Information Age is available via iTunes or Amazon. Watch the full interview for yourself below.