conscious black male knowledge

Carl Hancock Rux
Rux Revue
550/Epic records.
It’s good to hear an artist who has something interesting to say. It’s even better when the artist says it over decent music. On Rux Revue Carl Hancock Rux delivers his poetic lyrics over good funk, soul, hip-hop and pop beats. His approach is subtle and he doesn’t force his lyrics or message down the listener’s throat. If you need to, you can ignore his baritone croon and enjoy the beats, background harmonies, guitars, horns and Rhodes keyboards that all make appearances. But if you really listen, you will hear something worth listening to. He speaks of experiences he knows as a black male, but often of universal themes of life, people, love and struggles we all have.

Rux’s delivery and sound is reminiscent of Gil Scott Heron. His voice is a little smoother, the music’s slightly more modern but the impression made is similar.

On “Intro To (R)evolution” he sings, “The revolution is in our collard greens … only revolution is our evolution” over a retro funk groove. His approach is subtle and smooth and he achieves a balance between music, spoken word and singing. The result is mostly entertaining. Some of the music wouldn’t stand on its own without his vocals, and as a result the song becomes forgettable. But what’s important here is that he has something good to say that engages a listeners mind and entertains at the same time.

One of the best songs, “No Black Male Show,” which is also the name of his upcoming show this weekend, is a wise critique of hip-hop’s “sad state” and how “violence was invented by postmodern revolutionaries.”Check out this album and Rux’s upcoming one man show if you respect poetry, a decent groove and conscious insightful perspectives on race and life.

@italicbyline: – Aaron Miles