How does someone like Mike Ladd fit into our narrative about hip hop? He's from the Bronx. But his music seems to be as influenced by high art as low. This album is more concerned with dystopian visions of the future than with normal thematic elements of hip hop. It's a bit uneven, but when it works it is absolutely phenomenal. There's an alternate universe where this sort of intelligent daring music won the commercial battles and people like Jay Z are the oddities.