Reviewed by Stephen Adams
For the uninitiated, Deepspace 5 is a "super group" of Christian MCs, DJs and producers including members of groups such as Mars Ill, Tunnel Rats, Ill Harmonics, Labklik, etc. From the opening seconds of Deepspace 5's second CD, you know that something's different this time round. Firstly, they changed labels from now-defunct Uprok Records to CCM powerhouses Gotee Records, and added new members to their already vast ranks, namely DJ Manwell, (former tour DJ for John Reuben) and Texas-based MC/producer Sivion. Secondly, and most noticeably, this is not 'The Night We Called It A Day' part two. Whereas their first album was superb, but had a melancholic atmosphere running through it, 'Unique.' is more musically aggressive, mature and diverse. Lyrically, staple hip-hop topics are balanced by more in-depth and passionate subjects, while the lesser MCs last time round have improved their styles tenfold. My highlights are "Axe To Grind", which can be described as a God-ordained, Braveheart-esque war cry for the hip-hop generation, the raucous "Mechanical Advantage", where the manic energy of the beat threatens to overwhelm, but is handled with skill by each MC, and the strangely endearing "They Say", featuring a campfire-style guitar-led track that could have easily been turned into a cheesy Carman/KJ-52-lite youth group friendly song in the wrong hands, but becomes one of the wittiest, tongue-in-cheek tracks on the album. The only fault I could find was that its sound may not be very accessible to the 50 Cent/Nelly/Eminem/Lil Jon fans of this world, catering more to fans of underground luminaries such as Blackalicious, Atmosphere or Dilated Peoples. But whether that is positive or negative would depend on your viewpoint.
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