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Citizen Cope

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Over in this thread I mention Citizen Cope. The post is dated September 29, 2004. (I've been around these parts a while.) Speaking of Citizen Cope's debut recording, from which I heard a four-song sampler, I wrote:

�ve now listened to the sampler 5 times in the last 24 hours. The music is funky�hip-hop vocalizing with a healthy dose of reggae and blues�and very catchy. As I was driving in the dark on the rain-soaked, congested Beltway, I found myself gravitating to the third song on the CD, the chorus of which repeats that the �sun�s gonna rise.� It�s a cool tune, made all the more cool this morning when, looking at the sampler dust jacket, I noted that the title is spelled �Son�s Gonna Rise�! Are these guys believers? I got some sense of a spiritual vibe from the sampler�s first song, �Bullet and a Target,� but the mix of social commentary and some salty language, while obviously not excluding Christian belief and practice, didn�t have me thinking about anything more than the song�s cool groove.

Now my curiosity is peaked. Anyone else heard Citizen Cope? Again, I�m reluctant to go head-over-heels based on four songs, two of which aren�t as strong as the other two, but it�s exciting to hear a performer or performers that do something unique. I think Citizen Cope qualifies, although I�m open to more informed opinions.

No one responded. Years went by, I heard Cope's song Son's Gonna Rise used in a car commercial, but I never heard any full-length CDs he released. Honestly, I'd forgotten about him until a few minutes ago, when I opened up the Examiner and saw a Cope concert review. It's not much of a review, but it got me wondering about the new CD, and whatever I missed between Greenwood's first disc and this new one. He's one of the few "hip-hop" artists I've ever responded to, but it's been a long time since I've heard his stuff. No one here has mentioned him, and his latest CD is self-released. Did he just fall through the cracks?


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Same question about his faith. Multiple songs have titles that seem to allude to it, but interviews seem to indicate a more New Age spirituality with "collective consciousness" ideas. An incredible artist, I'd say. Here's hoping he one day falls in love with Jesus, if he hasn't already. Much love to the dude.

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