I can’t say I’ve ever been blown away by Shamele “Papoose” Mackie’s flow–I’ve heard his verses on various mixtapes and cameos, but he’s never made me stop and want to hear more. He’s fine, but not one of the greats. Except for his ongoing Law Library series, which is finally collected in a single mixtape.
You probably won’t agree with his politics: He wants to set everyone in prison free just because the laws are unfairly tilted against the poor. He believes that the Bush White House was actually competent enough to manufacture a terrorist attack on 9-11. But his ability to take sections of the penal code and break them down into rhyme and verse is not only entertaining and funny, it’s also creative and provocative. Again, I don’t agree with a lot of his politics, but I can’t deny that he has a clear point of view–one that’s thought-out and incendiary. That’s what made folks like Chuck D. and KRS-One so great: They had a point of view that was clear and strong–not that their politics were agreeable, or even made sense all the time. After all, whose do?
Papoose is half Liberian, half Native American, and he was born and raised in NYC. He married Remy Ma and had a major record contract with Jive before he got dropped. Which is no suprise: He’s a rapper who actually says something. He’s not ignorant and he’s no fool.
There’s little place for that in major label hip hop.