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How many times have you heard someone complain that contemporary rap music lacks its modern day Public Enemy equivalent? You've probably said it yourself. We all have. But we need to stop. Yeah, Public Enemy is inviolate and irreplaceable, but Killer Mike's R.A.P. Music is the closest we're going to get to an ideal soundtrack for a Do the Right Thing remake. It's no surprise that the beats come from Brooklyn, courtesy of El-P, a hip hop artist, producer and entrepreneur who is the borough's resident laureate of urban apocalypse. Snares crash like abandoned buildings being blown up. Synthesizers ooze with a diseased glow of something dying in a toxic water supply. The effect is like a futuristic junkyard come to life. In the midst of the decay of post-industrial New York, Killer Mike, hip-hop inferno, pours fuel on the already inflamed. Nearly a decade deep in the rap game, Mike has released five critically hailed records and won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group with Outkast for the song "The Whole World." But, in no uncertain terms, Mike will tell you that R.A.P. Music is his finest accomplishment. He'll even call it a "classic." Of course, every rapper calls every one of their albums a classic. The only difference is that Mike's right.
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