Straight from the sound bites on the intro track “The Panic” it’s obvious that if you’re looking for an album of club hits with tales of sexy bints and topped up drinks then Def-D-Fires aint offering that. What they are offering is something all the more difficult to pedal and that’s thought provoking hip hop. With deep rasping baselines and a mixture of quick-fire bars and melodic hooks the scene is set well for their shadowy brand of conspiracy exposure. But the question is do we wanna hear it?
Tracks are tied together via coded interludes which tie in nicely with the overall theme of the album and set us up for the proceeding tracks. Stand out tune “Survival Guide” which could have been called “The Palace” or simply “We don’t like the Queen” is an all out banger that I would happily play at full volume driving down the mall while burning a union jack to its heavy dub step break. On the other side of that track 13 & 16, the memorably named “OZN211212X05” and “OZN211212X06” bring some deft lyrical poetry over lighter acoustic led beats. “Are we destined to forever drift and wonder through the stars, cant we just appreciate the things we got and who we are?”
A clever comment on the rise of celebrity and consumerism through our generation and that kind of observation is not out of place with this crew.
There are lighter moments on the album notably the scary movie style zombie track “The Rush” but even that is really a comment on the masses distracted by what they’re fed (and I’m not talking brains). Production is really tight throughout evoking hints of Roots Manuva and old Company Flow but at 20 tracks it did get a little heavy for me, but then I have been known to watch the odd episode of TOWIE.
Personally, I think it’s a difficult thing to try to put out a piece of work with these kind of views. Although most of them I wholeheartedly agree with, the reason people are distracted are because the distractions are more distracting. None the less buy a copy of Zombie Nation and you’ll get what you paid for, a solid thought provoking and entertaining piece of art.
Here’s another video of their’s ‘The Palace’ which is on an anti-monarchy vibe – Don’t be put off, you might just learn a thing or two!