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Procussions

5 Sparrows for 2 Cents

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The Procussions seem unlikely candidates to issue the first album on iconic record label Rawkus (which made stars out of Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Company Flow and many others) since the label re-emerged last year. On "American Fado," a sad ballad about a teenage prostitute, author Renee Altson reads a passage from her Christian youth book, Stumbling Towards Faith. On "For the Camera," the Procussions indict celebrity culture by rapping, "They'll pay you a million for a picture with a cryptic kiss/Then they're buying your soul for 10 cents."

The Procussions' opinionated, topical raps can be overwhelming for listeners who want fun hip-hop music without a strong message. Stro's beats, which mostly utilize samples of funk and soul breaks, are good enough to warrant repeated listening, but overall 5 Sparrows for 2 Cents is part of a larger movement (others include Lightheaded, Pigeon John and Mars Ill) simultaneously embracing God and hip-hop culture instead of an exemplar of it. 3 stars.

The Procussions plays the Storm Tour at the Loft Mon., July 3, with Aceyalone, Ugly Duckling, Diverse, Mayday! and Wrekonize.

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