Perhaps the most socially aware bars from Rakim are showcased on Don't Sweat The Technique. Songs like "Casualties of War" is a direct reflection of the Gulf War, which had commenced not too long before the 1992 release of the album. Eric B also expands his production style, moving on to creating beats that still knock hard but push a more soulful, blues-y, & melodic sound, and this creates a nice contrast that works to the album's advantage; Rakim is probably at his most aggressive, dealing with things like poverty, police brutality, and the crack epidemic, and the smoother backdrop makes his tough lyrical agenda just pop that much more. The title track and "Know The Ledge," originally appearing on the film Juice, are the obvious highlights but also check out "What's On Your Mind," "The Punisher," and "Rest Assured."
- official reissue
- music label: UMe 1992 / 2018
reviewed by fardison pontane 07/18
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