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N.A.S.A. | The Spirit of Apollo

Anti- (2009)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  February 18, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars

I could fill up my allotted space by simply listing the plethora of cameos, not to mention incongruous match-ups, stuffed within this Benetton ad of a debut by Squeak E. Clean and DJ Zegan, a/k/a N.A.S.A. (North America South America). The Spirit of Apollo offers a who's who of hip-hop, from KRS-One and Chuck D to Chali 2na and a fraction of Wu-Tang (even ODB gives a shout-out, from beyond the grave!), who rhyme over hooks sung by strange bedfellows like David Byrne, Tom Waits, and Karen O. But N.A.S.A.'s ethos of u-n-i-t-y promotes the sum of the parts rather than the motley pieces. It's a post-Obama record (we are not black MCs and white singers — we are American musicians!), and post-Funkadelic, too, as George Clinton reminds us in the all-inclusive jam "There's a Party." The beats are eminently funky, the rhymes tight, and the topics decidedly old-school: plain-spoken boasts, the rejection of greed, and an acknowledgment of our communal evolution indicate the overall tone. Plus, any record that uses a sample of Richard Nixon to further its agenda of togetherness must have its heart in the right place.
Related: Slideshow: N.A.S.A., Madness 2012 and Big Digits, Cam'Ron, Dave Chappelle's Block Party, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Hip-Hop and Rap, Music,  More more >
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