Review :: Deep Thinkers, "Outlook"


Deep Thinkers make anthems to live by. The Kansas City based duo -- MC Brother of Moses and Lenny D -- stresses community roots, an understanding of self, and resistance to trends and social norms, while Lenny D provides the vessel with which these messages are delivered. Bro Mo doesn't need to shave or comb his hair. He has no patience for those looking to groom themselves into the molds offered by society's norms, for this path too often taken leads to the creation of one's own "fictional front," as Brother of Moses might state it. It is uncommon to come across such honest expression as I was about to witness from these Deep Thinkers.

While Lenny D's production keeps you guessing, Brother of Moses is his "own self soldier on a mission of the people." After pressing play I was presented with what could be the theme song to a retro cocktail lounge show from the year 2030. Digitally manipulated organ accompanied jazz-style drums while subtle turntablism prepared me for a journey through the magnificent production of Lenny D and the honest lyricism of Brother of Moses. It quickly became clear that Deep Thinkers is here to encourage the listener to, well, think. So that's just what I did.

I realized that our world is full of people waiting to judge each other. Whether this phenomenon is a product of boredom or low self-esteem, there are millions of people waiting to determine what are acceptable and unacceptable ideals of dress, language, and lifestyle. Brother of Moses understands the presence of this need to conform and praises those who resist falling victim to its huge grip.

While Deep Thinkers verbalize their message through the spoken word of Bro Mo, Leonard D Story speaks with his hands. As both producer and scratch DJ, he seems to be as comfortable behind the turntable as he is in the studio as a composer. The music Lenny creates can most easily be described as a global soundscape pronounced with knocking drums. Mountains, valleys, cosmopolitan coffee shops, and expansive oceans can be explored while lending an ear to Lenny D's auditory creations. Or maybe Deep Thinkers really are on a journey around the world in search of freedom, because Brother of Moses swims through Lenny D's beats like he's on vacation.

Deep Thinkers has a new album out, and this one, Outlook, which has just been re-released. Neither of these is to be missed. Musically and lyrically Deep Thinkers are powerful. Brother of Moses clearly possesses an ever-present understanding and consciousness of his ancestry, while lending perspective to the accomplishments and faults of his peers. All of this perspective manifests itself in lyrics that inspire the listener to strive for better values in their own day-to-day existence. "Look like him, and look like her, price on life, the truth is a blur." Happy trails.


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