20/20

Dilated Peoples. <i> Capitol</i>

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Conflicting impulses shape the agenda on Dilated Peoples’ bracing fourth album. In the wake of the chart success of Kanye West and the tiresome Black Eyed Peas, the Los Angeles hip-hop trio has surely felt the pull of the mainstream: 20/20 boasts a couple of catchy, R&B-flavored tracks designed to pass for pop entertainment. Their hearts aren’t in it, fortunately. Beyond token sweetening, MCs Evidence and Rakaa show little interest in playing nice, whether performing silly skits about getting high, calling the commander in chief “Lucifer,” or considering the use of armed self-defense to battle racism (a recurring Peoples theme). Reinforcing the conversational raps and fat, emphatic beats, nimble DJ Babu threatens to steal the show with delightfully furious scratching that confirms a stubbornly old-fashioned outlook. As “Another Sound Mission” observes, “Can’t beat ’em, join ’em?/That’s for submission.”

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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