The mid to late 90's were a great time for independent hip-hop, labels were springing up out of bedrooms and closets all over the place allowing artists deemed "alternative" or just plain weird, an outlet to get their music to those who wanted to hear it. In 1999, one of my most influential albums was released, Divine Styler's "Word Power, Vol.2 Directrix". This was the most futuristic representation of rap music I had ever heard at that time. Heavy vocal effects, electronic beats, strange tweaks and bleeps, it had it all! More importantly, it had the lyrics of one of the most profound MC's to ever touch a mic (in my opinion) Divine Styler.
When I first listened to this album I enjoyed it for the craziness but listening to it now, some 12 years later, and it was like it was created yesterday. His talk of politics, devotion to the Muslim faith, big brother, police states, religious knowledge, sacred science and more and its hard to believe it was written pre-911. I am pretty sure this album was not a commercial success but it is regarded amongst circles of serious heads as one of the best most slept on albums of all time. Grab a copy and listen to the future unfold!