Not since Arrested Development has a group wrestled with balancing inherent talent with being preachy. Listening to this album, I feel like I’m constantly on the brink of liking the music and the challenging directions and stylings they’re bringing in.

But then I’ll be completely taken out the moment by lyrics that come across as smarter-and-holier-than-thou. And then there are moments that just go over the top ridiculous and I feel like I’m not on the inside of a joke - there’s just something about hearing a chopped and screwed voice saying “Harriet Tubman would be proud,” that makes me shake my head and say “What?!” I feel like I’m watching that episode of South Park when they have a school assembly to encourage kids not to smoke, except they’re so corny the kids start smoking just to spite them.

I wonder if Solillaquists of Sound have listened to Mr. Lif, Akrobaktik, The Coup, Little Brother, or any of the hip hop artists who push for social change and seek to educate through music, but don’t treat their audience like a bunch of idiots who need everything spelled out for them. I can’t remember the last time an album insulted my intelligence like No More Heroes does.

And the real shame of all of this is that I can hear some real potential in the music that if they changed their attitude and expanded their world view a little, this could be a really tight album. As it is, though, it’s one of my least favorite records of the year.