Posts Tagged ‘HIV’

M.C. Mars delivers reality of street life from a cabbie’s perspective


Reviewed by Howie Mitchell

M.C. Mars/Letz Cabalaborate

M.C. Mars is old enough to be your grandfather, but most of the stories he relates on Letz Cabalaborate probably wouldn’t digest well at the next family get-together. Mars takes you to the dirtiest streets of American society, a road he has traveled over and over again as a Bay Area cab driver, and he does so with the brutally honest X-rated dialogue and adult situations that reflect the daily existence of living in urban decay. What startled me most about Mars’ lyrics is not the salty dialogue; those of us who live with hip-hop can no longer be shocked by bad words. The surprise is in how smart Mars’ writing is, an explosive mix of Beat poetry intellectualism and underground rap vulgarity. If Lenny Bruce had lived long enough to front a hip-hop outfit, it’d sound like what Mars is doing here.

“Cabdriving Is a Video Game” combines spoken-word passages with straight-up rapping and an intense backbeat; imagine The Fast and the Furious from a cabbie’s windshield. “Hip Hop Taxi” celebrates carnal pleasures in the car while “Days of the Outlaw” goes the distance in revealing how dangerous driving a cab can be. You never doubt for an instance that Mars is writing from real-life experience here. “A-I-D-S Is a Manmade Virus” and “High Inner Vision” are both inspired by Mars’ battle with HIV. This is strong, powerful music.