Beautiful People 2001: Dead Prez

"We're trying to reach where Jimi Hendrix was just after he left the Isley Brothers, or when Miles Davis went electric and made Bitches Brew," explains M-1 (left), one MC from the Brooklyn-based politically radical rap duo dead prez. He and partner Stic Man are justified in aiming high on the follow-up to their brilliant debut album, Let's Get Free (Loud), considering the acclaim it received from critics, peers, and fans alike. Let's Get Free's strength was the group's intelligently militant lyrics, and M-1 promises more of the same on the new disc, slated for a summer release. "We need to communicate that there are people out there who are struggling," says M-1, adding that hip-hop "ain't even seen this type of hard yet, and I'm not talking about your average thug shit neither. I am not a thug. This is more than that, way more."

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