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Sole - 'Nuclear Winter Vol. 1' [CD]
Sole - 'Nuclear Winter Vol. 1' [CD]
Sole - 'Nuclear Winter Vol. 1' [CD]
Sole - 'Nuclear Winter Vol. 1' [CD]


Nuclear Winter Vol. 1


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Nuclear Winter, sole's first mixtape in a projected series, is both a return to his Ice Cube roots and an exploration of the mixtape as a form of folkloric practice. Not only does he cold jack beats from the likes of Kanye, Biggie and Rick Ross, he extends traditional mixtape appropriation by reworking each song's original theme into a broader critique. Though sole has long made songs from the raw material of recession, the war in Afghanistan, racist immigration law, and the industries of hype, Nuclear Winter smuggles them into the club.

It is a rap edition of the Broadside records of the '60's and '70's that sought to work as a kind of singing newspaper, reporting on the moment with a radical accent; the Situationists called this d├ętournement, "the diversion of already existing cultural elements to new subversive purposes." When Woody Guthrie heard the Carter Family's hit hymn to Christian disconnection with this world, "Can't Feel at Home," at a dust bowl refugee camp in California, he ripped out of the song its exhausted pieties, and with what was left crafted, "Ain't Got No Home," a hard truth ode to the dispossessed.

On the record's first single, "My President," sole & Jared Paul of Prayers for Atheists (Strange Famous Records) demand the progressive president they wanted to imagine they were voting for. On "Everyday I'm Hustlin'," sole notes that "even the brokest among us are hard workers," and asks, "what the fuck is a hustler?" "Swagga Like Us," with Ceschi Ramos, Astronautalis, & Bleubird becomes a posse cut about the creep of gentrification.

Last year's Kanye hit "Heartless" becomes a diss aimed at Edward Bernays-Freud's nephew-and the cynical inventors of P.R. And Soulja Boy's "Turn My Swag On" becomes "Where They Put My Flag On?", in which sole details with intimacy the long night of American imperialism. This is pissing in the wind at its finest.

With Nuclear Winter, sole pulls the world into pop songs that mostly suceeded in canceling it out by way of self-contained swagger. They have here become pop songs begging to be blacklisted.
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