Lord Zen and Dannu: Exposing the Uncouth
Poetry Explains is the second 12" from Writer's Block (1/3 of the Visionaries crew), from 2000. Back then releases from the SoCal underground weren't as easy to come by as they later became, and since I was a fanatic about that shiz I forked over the cash for anything from the movement that came my way. Even with that in mind, I initially balked at purchasing this record. The Visionaries just weren't my favorite crew, despite all the talent involved. Frankly they were just too preachy for me. Also, besides 2Mex, I could never tell who was rhyming. But I ended up picking it up anyway, if only for the producers involved. Mum's the Word was dope, and ever since Beneath the Surface I idolized OD.
So I went home and dropped the needle on "Situations" (OD's track) and by the end of the song I was hooked. I must have played this record hundreds of times - not only were Mum's and OD's tracks great, but Key-Kool's track easily stood up as well. In fact, "Situations" quickly became on of my favorite OD productions - in my opinion he was at his height at this time. As for the vocal talent, once removed from the Visionaries, I could tell that Zen and Dannu were actually great lyricists, with distinctive and charismatic flows. They had a lot to say, and managed to say it with a level of eloquence and finesse not normally seen outside of spoken word poetry. Truly the single's title, "Poetry Explains," is a perfect summation of the contents.
To this day this piece of wax is among my favorite releases from when underground hip hop was at its apex. It's a short release, but in this case it's quality over quantity. These tracks were later released on their full-lenth CD En Route, but I always felt that his 12" stood alone perfectly. Give a listen.