Don't call her a spoken word artist - Ursula Rucker is a poet. Her 2008 release, Ruckus Soundsysdom is a full 15 track album with three interludes - you really get your money's worth with this one. Each track is jam packed with provocative lyrics that will make you shiver, wince or exclaim, "you fucking say it, woman." You can listen to this entire album over and over and still react and learn from Rucker's strong, yet vulnerable wisdom because no word is superfluous. From talking about shit men, to fruitful relationships, from inspiring historical figures to her four boys; Rucker crafts about all sorts of "urban" ruckus and beauty.
One of my fave tracks is Read Between The Lines where she suggests you "Take your eyes off the surface / Look deep between the lines cause perception is a mother." She says it better than I, check it: "Swear I'm vegan but I'll kill some turkey scrapple / Want me to debate and pontificate on the latest police beating or political debacle when / Sometimes I just want to sit in front of the fire and listen to that shit crackle... And yeah, I do burn nag champa at the crib but I also use Lycol spray / Four boys, two cats and a big ass dog / Need I say / More?" Love you Rucker for being more than an image.
Ursula Rucker - Read Between the Lines : Ruckus Soundsysdom
Ruckus Soundsysdom was produced in part by King Britt and 4Hero's Dego and provides soulful, electronic beats to gently glide below her lyrics. However, if I had to criticize the album in any way, I would mention that unless you are ready for a good sit and really ready to pay attention, this album sounds like a whole lot of interlude. Maybe that's intentional?
Or maybe I'm just used to Rucker's brand as being the interlude, which is how I first discovered the artist. She closed The Roots' albums, Do You Want More?!!?!!?, Iladelph Halflife and
The Roots - Return to Innocence Lost (Feat. Ursula Rucker) : Things Fall Apart