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Indigenous/Chicano Hip-Hop Group Release New Album Sonic Smash And Prepare For A Southwest Tour To Kick Off The Party That Will Include Def I Of Definition Rare, I.D. and DJ Reflekshin

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By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine

Nov. 18, 2013 — Hip hop activists Shining Soul recently dropped their second full length album Sonic Smash and the decolonizing duo are releasing it in fine fashion with a tour to promote their sophomore release. The Sonic Smash Tour is touching down in Phoenix on Nov. 22 at The Lost Leaf 903 N. Fifth St.

“We are doing multiple cities in the Southwest, the different pockets that have supported us throughout the years we’ve been making music,” said Bronze Candidate AKA Franco Habre, one half of Shining Soul. The tour is kicking off on Nov. 18 in Tucson, before moving to Las Cruces N.M., then on to Albuquerque, Flagstaff and rounding out in Phoenix.

Besides just his partner in rhyme Liaison — AKA indigenous activist Alex Soto — the Bronze Candidate will be hitting the road with some other very impressive Southwest based cohorts. Def I of Albuquerque based Definition Rare, Phoenix based I.D., and DJ Reflekshin will all be joining Shining Soul for the length of the tour, as well as some special guests in each city along the way.

For the Phoenix show, which both members agreed is the album's official release party, Shining Soul will be sharing the stage with all of their collaborators on the album including Brad B of The Insects, DJ Alias as well as the rest of their tour support and more. Also joining in will be Nutmeg, and host Michelle Ponce.

Shining Soul is hoping to use Sonic Smash as the boost they need to build credibility in the Southwest and beyond, as Soto and Habre hope to reconnect with contacts in the San Francisco Bay area, as well as New York City and Detroit.

“We are bringing this dope hip-hop to a town near you,” said Liaison.

The album itself is an incendiary 22 track ode to Shining Soul’s distaste for the United States border policy, contemporary race relations in Phoenix and beyond, and other politically charged themes in the lyrically driven album.

“It’s more fierce and more bold and an attempt to provoke more thought and agitate more action” said Bronze Candidate about his groups follow up to their rookie effort 2010’s We Got This.

“We are going to put the rap game on smash and smash the state,” said Liaison.

While the politics of Shining Soul have evolved as the situations facing both indigenous and Chicano cultures have become more dire. So have the musical stylings of the militant hip hoppers, however they remain true to the “boom bap style,” they set forward with on We Got This. according to Habre.

Another holdover from Shininging Soul’s first album are the abrupt and blatant lyrics on their tracks.

“It’s bigger than Arpaio, border patrol for economic control if you want to stop Joe recognize the fight is global,” said Liaison on track seven “No Mercy.”

Or even more concise and to the point, “this means war so I’ll see you on the front line” as stated on Sonic Smash by Bronze Candidate. Shining Soul has built a reputation and a following by speaking on topics which are considered risque or taboo.

Their unapologetic lyrics have brought them to a point that they can be found playing hole in the wall benefit shows or at Phoenix’s most well known venues.

“When hip hop is done properly you can speak on just about anything,” said Liaison

Jeff Moses a senior contributor at Modern Times Magazine. He can be reached at jmoses@moderntimesmagazine.com.
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