Kemet Coleman, known in local hip-hop circles as thePhantom*, doubles as an urban studies student at UMKC. So it makes sense that Coleman gets academic on his newest album, Destroy & Rebuild. If he aspires to even higher learning, a doctorate in philosophy might suit Coleman’s sensbilities. The rapping college student is unrelentingly intellectual on each of the album’s 18 tracks, creating a Dantean inferno of deep thought and abstract musings. Consider, for example, a few track titles: “Omega,” “Zion,” “From the Ashes” and “God’s Music” are all evidence of a spiritual mind hard at work. Even Lucifer was an angel in heaven, Coleman reminds listeners on “Four Horsemen.” He gets political over a strolling guitar on “Freeze”: War is now peace/Soldiers are told fibs/Colors are now bleached/And the media feeds us chitlins of info/The feces of truth/The terrorists are kinfolk. Coleman’s lyrics revel in postmodern ambiguity, but his avant-garde talent is clear. Even clearer is the talent of Glenn North, professor of English at UMKC and spoken-word artist, who partners with Coleman on “Story Through Beats.” North turns Amiri Baraka on the track, merging the rhythms of hip-hop with the lifeblood of black history: Beats beat like black aspirations that deteriorate on the roots of my family tree. Less anarchistic than its title suggests, Destroy & Rebuild is instead an affirmation of intellectual expression through good music — and a hip-hop head’s fantasy of Heidegger set to dope beats.

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