Raw Material

Mars Ill

Raw Material

Release Data

  • Cat: #BED7457
  • Rel. Date: 06/05/2001
  • Format: Full

Mars Ill - Raw Material

The talent and quality of Raw Material matches that of respected secular performers The Roots, Jurassic 5, and Black Eyed Peas. But Mars Ill lives for more than the mainstream world's excesses, as evidenced by their avoidance of Epic Records' courtship. Instead, they signed to Uprok so they could add a deeper message to their already polished sound.

The song "Black Market" perfectly describes that balance. Soul Heir the manCHILD belts out some raps mixed with the gentle scratching of Dust. During the chorus, the duo sings together to create a resounding vocal echo. In this song, Mars Ill addresses the fact that their words are universal and shouldn't be confined to a spiritual bubble. "Compound Fractures," a soulful jazz mix, picks up where "Black Market" leaves off. It encourages listeners, regardless of their faith history, to become broken before God and trust that he'll improve their lives.

Mars Ill knows how to have a good time as well. "Rap Fans" and "Sounds of Music" have a sing-along vibe and take a light-hearted approach to the joy of the rap genre and music in general. Both "Sphere of Hip-Hop Part 2" and the original version of the song (also on the album) are the most intense mixes, with a driving synthesizer and turntable scratching that make both versions very catchy. The lack of screaming raps and a wall vibrating bass make these tunes enjoyable listens, even for those who wouldn't consider themselves fans of rap music.