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E&J's real name is Edwin Jackson, middle name Moses. And he makes good by his namesake: Jackson's more of a spoken-word poet than an actual rapper. "Infrared Eyes" plays like an episode of The Wire, documenting a nation's rejection of an obsolete working class — which leaves an entire demographic with no economic options beyond soul-destroying, off-the-grid enterprises like the drug trade. Meanwhile, bristling rock guitars fuel "Holla," in which Jackson holds his own against Dead Prez's Stic.Man, rhyming, "I'll never bow down to Babylon/I'll spit hot flame into a world of no repentance/Holler if you hear me." We're hollering.

Speaking of CD Review

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