Coup de Theatre
First Appeared in The Music Box, December 2004, Volume 11, #12
Written by T.J. Simon
Haiku D’Etat is an underground, freestyle hip-hop collective comprised of California MCs Aceyalone, Mikah 9, and Abstract Rude. On Coup de Theatre, the group mixes poetic wordplay with jazz-derived improvisation, but the results are generally unfavorable. The album features nimble vocals and space-y poetry recitations over meandering, experimental fusion grooves and uninspired choruses, though its biggest flaw is that Haiku D’Etat tries so hard to be hip and arty that its members forget to be fun or edgy. Tracks such as My Dogs and Kats neither make much sense nor are they pleasant to hear. In fact, the only cut on the disc with any heart — or balls, for that matter — is Top Qualified, which includes a guest rap from Blackalicious’ Gift of Gab. It laces a Curtis Mayfield-style musical bed with some funky beats, and the staccato vocals build to a mini hip-hop masterpiece. It’s a shame, however, that such a memorable moment ultimately will be lost in the body of such a weak and disappointing outing.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box