Before it was a tv show, Arrested Development was one of my fave bands, in the early 90s. They were like the Black Eyed Peas, but less sex more politics. Some of the songs were too self-righteous even for my righteous age of 20, but when they were On... they were on.
They have a new album out, and I'm glad to see it has How Far is Heaven, which they did a great cover of on a has-beens music show. According to this review, it's the same old problem: "The self-righteousness with which he expounds how spiritually and politically tuned-in he is would usually be enough to put you off, but when the music behind it is of such funk and rhythm, it's ok. You don't have to listen to the words."
Not to mention, rap is so dominated by gangster rap these days (K-os is one of the few conscious and popular rappers I can think of, and he's Canadian), it'll be nice to have AD back on the scene.
Bill Adler is a hip-hop historian who helped write and produce "And You Don't Stop: 30 Years of Hip Hop," a five-part documentary series for VH1. He said Arrested Development was among the "last gasp" of a wave of socially conscious rappers who also were able to achieve widespread commercial and critical success.
"At that point, conscious hip-hop and so-called gangster rap were kind of at war with each other," he said. "I think the so-called gangster rappers emerged on top and they've really defined hip-hop pretty exclusively ever since."