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Blue Scholars, “Butter&Gun$’ (Massline/Rawkus)

As proponents of a style that blends dense lyricism, West Coast jeep beats, and progressive politics, Blue Scholars are one of underground hip-hop’s most challenging voices. Their third EP includes “Loyalty,” a standout track from last year’s inspiring Bayani album, two new songs (including the anthemic antiwar, pro-democracy title track), plus three instrumentals. “Others grip the gun / My weapon is my tongue,” raps Geologic on “27,” criticizing the military for dangling college scholarships in front of poor youth and enticing them to “exchange their bodies for knowledge.” Like the Coup and dead prez, Blue Scholars believe in the revolutionary power of words.

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Tags: Albums