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StarChile: Sleepmode

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Recent online commentary from both critics and artists might leave one to believe that socially conscious hip-hop has died a slow, painful death from an apparent lack of corporate interest and rising apathy. Atlanta duo StarChile (Divine WiseDome and Massive the Victor) seems less concerned with making external pronouncements than producing consistent quality audio and videos. In staying true to its audience, Sleepmode contains requisite Malcolm X clips and Willie Lynch references, which fortunately stand as peripheral value statements rather than heavy-handed social commentary. The duo relies more on sentient appeal than pure lyricism. StarChile is at its best when getting lost in the escapist melodies of "Star Child" and "Optimist," but the Auto-Tuned vocals in "Neva Comin Down" seem completely out of place. (3 out of 5 stars)

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