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UK Hip Hop: International
Black Samurai - The Struggle Continues (Album) (2000)
Black Samurai are a collection of rappers from America, France and Britain. They offer an array of dark beats, intelligent lyrics and tuneful hooks, and their release is highly listenable. I eagerly anticipated this album. Although it was made in 2000, Black Samurai are still together and working on music for their second album at present.

Opener, 'Ghetto God Blessed', sets the tone with classical violin sampling and precise raps, that alternate between members. 'Symphony of Destruction' meanwhile hits the listener like a block of concrete - the humungous beat, catchy melody and hard-hitting lyrics helping the song to live up to it's name. If I could envisage a single from the album, it would be this track. The vast range of rapping styles makes it impossible to generalise the influences of Black Samurai. This range includes French, Ragga and female voices, reminiscent of Kheops, Roots Manuva and Wild Flower respectively.

'Worries' and 'Jackin the Black' are fiercely political tunes, highly critical of the institutional racism faced by blacks in the twenty first century. 'I hate the law I break the law. We all hate the government and the Queen's a whore.' ('Worries'). 'Respect from the Street' meanwhile, is a rumbling overture with a catchy hook and complex verses. 

Classical samples are used to a sublime degree on this release. Be it for providing a haunting backdrop or a bouncy interlude. According to BS member, Tee, 'Black Samarai have been neglected, rejected, so the rise from the bottom to the top must be expected.' Indeed, I expect big things of this group. The production is as solid as a mainstream US release, but the message is far more relevant than any Stateside music. The fact the Samurai consists of such a diverse range of performers, means they can bring something varied and altogether new to the scene.

Short may their struggle be to the top. These guys are tha bomb.

8/10

Review by: Julian Stevens

Contact Black Samurai: mailto:blacksamurai2000@yahoo.com

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