After the events in Ferguson and New York City and trips to Switzerland, France, and Palestine the music and the artist were different. We knew it was going to be big when it finally dropped because he scrapped the project twice. I would like to think it took him time to grapple with life as he would come to understand it in the aftermath of protests, tear gas, multiple arrests and a series of speaking engagements, and actions representing the cause of #blacklivesmatter and Hands Up United.
As I said before Tef Poe’s War Machine sagas are known to be some of his best work and earned him his well-deserved reputation. Now having gone through a war like he’s never faced before you can bet that changes a person and the music within the 16 track offering shows that unapologetically see “F.A.M.E.” to understand his mindset. It is even fair to say that the project is offensive on purpose like the previously released, song “Hillary” where Tef lyrically assaults the presidential candidate and goes in on the black church. I listened to the entire project front to back and it is without a doubt the best project he has ever done, having created his own genre of music which I’d call Militant Concious Rap. This album is a brilliant militant hip hop masterpiece.
The Intro opens with a classic church hymn, “This Little Light of Mine” and trails off into an intense drama beat with Tef screaming,
“/…I love all my ni@@as/I pray for survival/religion can’t free me/ I don’t need the bible/the evil surround me/don’t let drown me/my city is burnin’/my destiny has found me/ I love all my ni@@as…/”
The project does not dwell on his activism alone. For over 13 years as an artist he knows how to combine his art based on experience into music for a listening audience. War Machine III shows an evolved sense of lyricism and delivery for Tef Poe and even switching things up production wise with the use of chopped hooks and Auto Tune on songs such as, “Prices on my Head” prod by Dave the King. On “Say Her Name” Tef Poe employs the use of Auto-tune again this time paying homage to the black woman who Tef has praised for their response and support of #BlackLivesMatter. The names of Kim King, Rakia Boyd, and other victims of police brutality and murder by the hands of the police is the topic.
War Machine III also has solid features on “Light the Plane” prod by Bizness Boi, on this track music lovers get their first taste of The Knuckles (Rockwell Knuckles and Aloha Mi’sho) with Rockwell’ signature flow and Aloha’s ear pleasing vocal as Tef Poe spits acid on the track,
“/from the psychedelic mind of a trap ni@@a/I’m in Harvard to lecture to the black ni@@gs/riding through the city with my woes ni@@a/I quantum leap when the wormhole close ni@@a/got a woman that will kill for me in this b*tch/tryin to buy the Northside like I’m Tony French/what if Louis Farrakhan can rap like Nas/What if Tef Poe can try to rap like God/Reggie Clemmons in the muthaf*ckin’ chain gang/free Mumia because it really is the same thang/”
There are many great songs on the project and including great appearances from Family Affair and label mate T Dubb O. “Revolutionary Love” features Black Spade and smooths out an album that is mostly straight up gasoline. Nick Menn joins Tef and you can bet it was a great night in the studio as the two recorded, “Seven Blunts”. Aside from great lyrics there is of course great production from Trifeckta, Dave the King, Bizness Boi, and MCF Beats who produced the album’s lead single, “Prince” which shines on the album.
This project has everything you need and more if you are a fan of his music or a newcomer. If you love hip hop then you must buy this album now available on ITunes, Google Play, or wherever you get your music digitally.
Stream it below but you better make sure you buy it!
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