Ground Zero Generals

It’s bluntly provocative, but Nine 11 Thesaurus is a fitting name for this Brooklyn crew—five teenage rappers searching for words to describe the post-9/11 world. Some group members lost family members in the attacks, but while they do rhyme about wars and world affairs, they focus more on domestic issues like institutional racism (“Bondages”), police brutality (“Police Sirens”) and—this being a hip-hop record—the prowess of the group itself (“Rookie of the Year”). Producers Tim Dewit and Matt Mehlan (of experimental indie-rock bands Gang Gang Dance and Skeletons) provide bombed-out backings for the bummed-out lyrics, coloring bleak Wu-Tang soundscapes with splashes of neon synth. All said, it’s a promising debut for perilous times.

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