CL getting some publicity in Atlanta and the site is mentioned.
For their third album, Cunninlynguists have issued a concept album that’s far more ambitious than early efforts such as 2001’s Will Rap for Food and 2003’s Southernunderground. A Piece of Strange is about a black man who is back on the streets after being incarcerated. “He meets a girl, they have a baby. The girl he meets, her father is racist. The father ends up passing away,” explains producer Kno, who along with rapper Deacon make up Cunninlynguists. “And he ends up making a choice. I’ll let you listen to it so you can see what that choice is.”
Some listeners who have heard A Piece of Strange (it hits record stores on Jan. 24, but has been available online since November) interpret it as a parable about sin and salvation. One fan even set up a website, www.whatisapos.com, dedicated to the album’s Christian references and metaphors. Kno says that its spiritual themes come from Deacon, who is currently working for his father, Pastor Willis G. Polk, at Imani Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky. “Deacon’s roots are more heavily relied on with this album,” says Kno, who adds that he has “Christian beliefs” but isn’t overtly religious. Kno is also living in Lexington so he can record with Deacon, but plans to move back to Atlanta soon.
But A Piece of Strange also functions as a traditional hip-hop album. Even “Hellfire,” which, in the story, alludes to the place the girl’s racist father is sent, can be heard on the surface as a lyrically adept song about fire. “You know how a lot of concept records, especially in hip-hop, beat you over the head with skits and stuff?” says Kno. “It’s not really like that. It doesn’t have any skits on it at all. But it definitely has a story.” The group is also making a companion DVD for release later this year.
Sonically, A Piece of Strange hearkens back to the soulfully somber and muted tones of ATLiens-era OutKast. Goodie Mob’s Cee-Lo appears on the album’s first single, “Caved In,” an introspective number mourning the world’s ills, which Cunninlynguists distributed over the Internet last September to raise awareness for their Hurricane Katrina benefit auctions. All in all, Cunninlynguists have come a long way since Will Rap for Food. Article