After the critical acclaim their self-titled debut album received, Organized Konfusion had to follow up with an album that lived up to the high standards they had set for themselves. With Stress: The Extinction Agenda, they not only delivered an album with similarities to their debut but also ventured into uncharted territories with their innovative approach. Pharoahe Monch and Prince Po’s lyricism on this album is unmatched, and their ability to craft intricate rhymes is a testament to their skills as emcees. The album’s dark, dense, and intellectual themes are still relevant today, and its vision and execution were way ahead of their time. Unlike some albums from the era, Stress: The Extinction Agenda seemingly hasn’t aged a day and sounds as fresh today as it did on the day it was released, making it a classic that has stood the test of time.
Stress: The Extinction Agenda features the lyrical prowess of Pharoahe Monch and Prince Po, who deliver some of the most complex and thought-provoking rhymes in the genre. Their lyrics are dense and intellectual, touching on themes such as the struggles of life in the inner city, oppression, gun violence, and survival. They tackle these heavy subject matters with a finesse that is unmatched in the genre.
One of the album’s standout tracks is “Stress,” which sets the tone for the rest of the album with its ominous beat and raw lyrics. The track touches on the daily stresses faced by those living in the inner city, such as poverty, violence, and addiction. Pharoahe Monch and Prince Po trade verses effortlessly, their flows complementing each other perfectly. Other highlights of the album include “The Extinction Agenda,” a powerful track that delves into the struggle for survival in a world filled with oppression with a beat that is dark and foreboding, setting the perfect tone for the hard-hitting lyrics, and “Black Sunday,” a commentary on the effects of institutional racism on the black community – the track’s beat is haunting, perfectly matching the somber tone of the lyrics. Pharoahe Monch and Prince Po’s verses are raw and emotional, painting a vivid picture of the pain and suffering caused by racism.
“Stray Bullet” perhaps is the most powerful track on the album due to its poignant commentary on the devastating impact of gun violence. The song tells the story of a stray bullet’s journey, beginning from the gun that fires it and tracing its trajectory to the innocent victim it ultimately hits. The song’s vivid storytelling and powerful imagery convey the senselessness of gun violence, capturing the pain and suffering it inflicts on individuals and communities. The song’s message is particularly relevant today as gun violence continues to be a major issue in America. The lyrics of “Stray Bullet” urge listeners to consider the impact of guns on society and the need for greater gun control measures. The track is a call to action to stop the senseless loss of lives due to gun violence and to promote a safer, more peaceful society.
In addition to the elite lyricism, the beats on Stress: The Extinction Agenda are just as noteworthy. The album’s mostly self-produced instrumentals are dark, jazzy, and menacing, perfectly complementing the lyrical style of Pharoahe Monch and Prince Po. The beats on the album are some of the most innovative and complex in the genre, adding an extra layer of depth to an already impressive album.
What sets Stress: The Extinction Agenda apart from other albums of its time is its sheer originality. It’s an uncompromising and unapologetic work that demands the listener’s full attention. It’s an album that rewards multiple listens, with new layers of meaning and complexity revealed each time. Overall, Stress: The Extinction Agenda is an album that has aged incredibly well. It doesn’t sound dated or out of touch with the times; instead, it feels just as fresh and innovative today as it did when it was first released. It’s a testament to the vision and skill of Organized Konfusion, who managed to create an album that was ahead of its time in both vision and execution.
In conclusion, Stress: The Extinction Agenda is a classic Hip Hop album that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as other timeless works of the genre. It’s an album that showcases the very best Hip Hop has to offer, from its complex and thought-provoking lyrics to its innovative and groundbreaking beats. The album’s themes of survival, struggle, and perseverance are still relevant today, making Stress: The Extinction Agenda a timeless work of art that you simply can’t afford to miss.