The Bridge Called My Back
Thursday, April 10, 2008
With The Bridge Called My Back, Emcee Change of the local rap funk outfit Para La Gente strikes off on his own with a 13-song, 50-minute-long solo outing. Wisely mixing up the subject matter on the release, Change tackles everything from self-esteem on the funk workout “Estilo” to assimilation on “Borderlands,” which includes an ominous flute sample.
One of his strongest numbers, “Fresh Kicks,” details the negative effects of free trade over an ascending and descending bass line. One impressive aspect of the song is how Change is able to tell not only the expected story of how NAFTA affects a poor Mexican woman but also stretches to depict of a middle-class Midwestern family devastated by the trade agreement.
His bandmates in Para La Gente join him for two tracks late in the disc, providing some breathing room from his impressive but dense narratives. These numbers include the 47-second punk rock outburst “Pinata Breakers” and the environmental ode “Last Dance.” One of the album’s most refreshing curveballs is “Almost,” an antidote to all the boastful rap songs out there where Change puts his self-doubt on display. With lines like “Not the best emcee lyrically/ there’s so many that’s better than me,” you want to tell Change that he’s better than he thinks.
Listen to Emcee Change’s “Coming Back Around Again” on Monterey County Weekly’s local music jukebox at montereycountyweekly.com.