A fine line exists between annoying rants and worthwhile messages in the world of socially conscious hip hop. Apostle (aka Jeff Campbell) manages to march that line with only a few trips along the way, placing him among the more poignant and palatable of these message-driven artists.
It’s no surprise considering Apostle’s background. The San Francisco-based MC serves as a poetry teacher for Youth Speaks and founded another after-school program, the Colorado Hip Hop Coalition, in addition to being the former frontman of hip hop favorites Heavyweight Dub Champion. Now solo with the aptly named Lyrical Activism, Apostle’s creativity spikes with relentlessly reflective political and social messages. On “For Revolutionaries Only,” for instance, he spins lines like “From a mythical entity when national security and the military supremacy is the corporate dependency.”
Apostle succeeds with tracks that bestow meaning as well as incorporate beats worthy of a club. But what sets him above many others in his genre is that he doesn’t just talk the game, but actually gets personally involved. That authenticity alone makes Lyrical Activism worthy of a listen. (Kelsey Bernius)
Apostle plays the Palace with DJ Quest as part of the Badlander’s one-year anniversary party, Friday March 21 at 9 PM. Free.