Local Wire


As an underground hip-hop group from Portland, Oregon, Lightheaded wouldn't be expected to rap about pimping bitches, but this trio's subject matter is noticeably clean-cut. Wrong Way, its second album and first since 2001's Pure Thoughts, features songs about trying to be a better husband ("Eye to Eye"), testimonials about serving Christ ("Afraid of the Dark" and "Speak Your Peace"), and the power of positive thinking and living. Braille, Othello, and producer Ohmega Watts think that hip-hop culture can transform lives completely, and not just financially. It's a disarmingly sweet but dangerously corny idea that isn't helped by Watts' beats, which are smart and funky but clearly cut from the same "true school" blueprint that hundreds of other backpack groups use. Nevertheless, Wrong Way succeeds because Lightheaded is so passionate about its good music, which "takes you everywhere except the wrong way."
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Mosi Reeves