After hearing the intro to this album, you should quickly pick up on the fact that this isn’t the average hip hop album. Love it or hate it, Movies for the Blind is an album that has it’s own sound. With a chilling beat playing, Cage addresses the audience with a homage to the movie ‘A Clockwork Orange’ for the first, but not the last time in this album.
Most of the album is produced by one DJ Mighty Mi, who does a great job of making beats that compliment Cage’s dark and gritty style, while Cage in returns compliments the beats by doing a great job of rapping with the beats instead of over them like some of his associates *cough* El-P *cough cough*. While DJ Mighty Mi does a good job handling the production of the album, the most memorable beats are handled by others, such as the song ‘In Stoney Lodge’ produced by J-Zone, ‘Teenage Death’ produced by Camu Tao, ’Among the Sleep’ handled by RJD2, and of course, the underground classic ‘Agent Orange’ produced by Necro. The production on this album is very very consistent leaving only one song on the list to be skipped. On the song ‘CK Won’ the production seems just a bit too frantic, while Cage’s verses seem to be just as good as they can be, the beat clashes with them a bit too much. It could also be argued that the chorus grates after repeated listens.
As far as lyricism, Cage delivers exactly what you’d expect, except better. A very dark humor that could only be drug up from the mind of Cage. The first full song on the album ‘Escape to 88’ jumps into his mind with the lyrics “Welcome to a piece of brain tissue, my brain’s lungs/ Filled with octane, like liquid that came from/Some silly, said her tits sellin illy/Really? By the jar? Pump the car full of grey jelly.” Cage doesn’t let up with his disturbed humor, continuing to swing the lyrical axe at whomever he see’s fit, from MTV to Eminem.
Cage is lyrically on point throughout the entire album. This is, sadly, quite rare in most albums nowadays. From the song ’In Stoney Lodge’ and it’s almost amused retelling of his stay in a mental institute as a child, to ’The Soundtrack…’ and it’s gleeful fantasy story of him murdering his stepfather who put him in said mental institute, and while Cage seems to excel at telling his stories with a disturbed happy twist, he seems to really shine through when he let’s himself get as gritty and dark as he can possibly get. This is exemplified in the song ‘Among the Sleep’, where Cage tells a twisted tale (which I’ve always assumed to be a morbid introspective on his life) through a bad PCP trip. Cage also proves once again how he can shine in a group environment, with his posse cut ‘Unlike Tower 1’. The song features him, Mister Eon and Copywrite, all members of Cage‘s group ‘The Weathermen‘… And all of them delivering great verses, with an amazingly well done hook. It should be more than enough to whet your appetite for more Weatherman appearances
Lastly, I’ll address the most popular and well known song on the album, the famous ‘Agent Orange’. The song came out well before the album, though it was cleaned up considerably for the album, it also had the lengthy into shortened, as well as the outro cut. The song is perhaps one of Necro’s best beats to date, and arguably one of Cage’s best songs. The song is built around a Clockwork Orange sample and starts off with an intro that is almost verbatim from the novel. The song itself is full of twisted punch lines and references… The Liquid Swords sample really does say it all about the song. “They said his brain was infected by devils.”
Overall, Movies for the Blind is a great album, Cage at his best. He rarely steps out of his comfort zone of dark visuals and humor here, but why would you want him to? He does it so well. The production is great and his lyricism is better, only having one skippable track leaves 13 other great ones (and 3 skits with an intro) which is great considering most albums now only have 3 to 4 good songs on them (you know who you are). This album makes it clear that Cage’s reputation as an eccentric genius is well earned.
Best Tracks: In Stoney Lodge, Among the Sleep, Agent Orange, A Suicidal Failure