Aveli Amun speaks truth to power on the potent, politically charged poetics of “First 6”. The agitprop lyrics come to grips with the sad scenario the United States has created for itself – a rich class content with enriching itself at the expense of the rest of the country. Such an intense trip the lyrics have a visceral sense of urgency to them. Exploring the politics of oppression there is a poignancy to his flow for he delivers each verse with such passion. Fiery flows rest at the very center of the entirety of the collection tying everything together.
His social commentary draws from hip-hop’s tradition of exploring elements of injustice. In this way, the collection at times feels influenced by Public Enemy’s thought-provoking pieces. Within these bars Aveli Amun takes an unflinching look at the harshness of what it means to be alive in the United States, the endless wars, the profiteering from those wars, and the money to be made through vast seas of inequality. Kendrick Lamar’s influence also ties its way through much of the work, as the personal is inevitability political for these policies effect everyone. Lyrics have a razor-sharp focus to them while they cut through all the lies that the media propagates.
The false narrative that is delivered to the public is shown with the powerful opener “Hold the Line”. An exploration of the American military-industrial complex, Aveli Amun cleverly utilizes a martial beat to punctuate the importance of his message as well as offering a sarcastic take on the blind allegiance citizens have for the institution. With this unquestioning faith this is how so many wars/conflicts are created and sustained. A lack of light is “How Mushrooms Grow” and serves as a clever way to show how the lack of attention to the truth is how awful systems are allowed to continue even thrive. Mass dissemination of untruths and distorted facts expands in an echo chamber of social media feeds which is the focus of “Your Feed”.
Minimum wage’s many faults come into focus on “Living Wage”. Within this piece a sense of loss and yearning radiates across it, for the minimum wage becomes an impossible thing to support oneself on. “Populace Leaders” feels particularly apt given the current worldwide phenomenon of populist leaders. By far the highlight of the collection, the rage and anger that these leaders tap into is done as a way to provide cover for even more egregious profit-taking. Neatly bringing the collection to a close is the intense “SCOTUS”.
“First 6” has Aveli Amun speak to America’s history of inequality and all that lead up to this moment’s malaise in a way that feels so real.