MP3 $trick9 and the Truth - Mother Earth
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14 MP3 Songs
HIP-HOP/RAP: Instrumental Hip-Hop, HIP-HOP/RAP: Political Rap
Show all album songs: Mother Earth Songs
"If Jonathan Swift and Stephen Colbert had a kid, they'd probably both feel a little queasy afterward. But if that baby survived his second year and grew up to be an MC named $trick9, we'd like to think they'd shed a tear of pride when he dropped rhymes like this," said Scott Alexander, Playboy senior editor.
Alexander is referring to the Des Moines rapper's song "A Modest Proposal," one of the fourteen tracks on $trick9's debut album, Mother Earth, released on Tuesday, December 18, 2007. As the title suggests, "A Modest Proposal" is $trick9's hip hop re-imagining of the classic Jonathan Swift essay suggesting poverty could be solved by eating babies.
Sound disgusting? This song is actually being used in the classroom to teach students the meaning of satire.
"As an English teacher I'm always looking for ways to help my students relate to and understand the literature we study by connecting the literature to their world," says Pamela Bradley, from Santa Susana High School. "$trick9's "Modest Proposal" is an intellectually astute modernization of a classic work. While staying true to the ideas in Swift's 'Modest Proposal', Strick9 offers up music that is hip, fresh, and entertaining. My students love it! A+ Strick9!"
While $trick9, AKA Nick Strickland, 27, has been performing live and online for over a year, Mother Earth is the first studio album he's released. Oscillating back and forth from satire to social commentary, from poetry to story-telling, the album is at the same time gut-bustingly funny, socially introspective and musically explosive.
Unlike most hip hop acts, the beat is not laid down by a DJ or a drum machine, rather by a live band known as The Truth. Drawing from vastly divergent backgrounds, The Truth belt it out thick and funky.
The mastermind of melody, Matt "Matty J" Jesson, was classically trained on piano and plays a host of other instruments on the album from the electric guitar to the melodica. Drummer Justin "Billbotics" Bristow hails from the metal scene but isn't afraid to pick up a djembe when he needs to, Mother Earth also shows off his considerable beat boxing talents. But the highlight of the CD just might be the scene-stealing antics of bassist Duke. When he's not laying down the low end, he's screaming at the top of his lungs, acting as hype man and Greek chorus of the album.
While most rap CDs have guest appearances from other rappers or other musicians, the only collaboration on Mother Earth is with former Iowa gubernatorial candidate Ed Fallon. Lil Iqbal is the true story of a child laborer named Iqbal Masih who spoke out against sweatshops in the mid 1990s. Knowing this is an issue close to Fallon's heart, and also
knowing Fallon's musical talents, $trick9 asked him to play accordion on the track.
"America's shopping habits hurt the poorest of the poor in ways most of us who live in comfort can't imagine," said Fallon. "Globalization's casualties are many -- and mostly dark-skinned. Hit especially hard are the poor and young, children like Iqbal, who suffer and sometimes die for the sin of cheap stuff. Through his art, $trick9 challenges all of us to pay attention and adjust our lives accordingly."
The architecture of Mother Earth was first drafted through a set of demos, tracked in the early spring of 2007. Using combination of live sets and basement demo tapes, the track list was created and the album's direction was born.
"It's a complete album," said Duke. "All of the great elements of storytelling are presented in a cohesive piece. This is what has been missing in music for years."
And that's no understatement. The album is meticulously thought through, designed as a continuous act, changing and evolving.
"I think we've created an experience," said $trick9. "It's not just a collection of hot dance tracks."
The songs bounce, forcibly exerting the power of the lyrics they pave.
"We had played live shows using a batch of songs we had put on an earlier EP," said $trick9. "Most of the songs were still evolving and the writing process was well underway. By the time we were ready to hit the studio, we had a real catalog to work from."
From the original batch of songs, $trick9 & The Truth culled the final fourteen and headed into Capp Audio Productions studio in early July of 2007 to begin tracking the album.
"It seemed to go by really quickly," said Matty J. "Maybe we were just really organized."
Through the sessions, the band captured the energy of their live show, while crafting a precise sonic experience.
"Everything is cohesive, thick and warm," said Billbotics. "The rhythms pulsate. It's unlike 99.9 of the hip-hop you hear these days. I'm not going to say it's like Pink Floyd rapping, but it is atmospheric and heavy, all at the same time."
Mother Earth is available in stores and online at https://www.tradebit.com.
"It's the bomb," says $trick9, "pick it up at music stores like ZZZ Records, CD Warehouse, Hip Hop Heaven and Homer's, as well as other local shops like Smash, Atomic Garage and Cup o' Kryptonite."
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