Non Phixion | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Why hasn't Non Phixion put out an album of originals since its 2002 debut, The Future Is Now? Well, their songs are so thick with antigovernment suspicion--"They got a file on every rap group," Ill Bill asserts on "The CIA Is Trying to Kill Me"--that I wouldn't be shocked to hear they're afraid some federal agency would seize it. The three MCs in the New York group--Ill Bill, Sabac, and Goretex--all put out solo records last year, but the only Non Phixion disc of recent vintage is The Green CD/DVD (Uncle Howie), a stopgap assortment of unreleased tracks, B sides, and freestyles. On both discs they conjure up a mix of antiestablishment aggression, mournful nihilism, and gleeful morbidity, backed by sinister tracks filled with RZA-style grit and lyrics that are by turns violent ("America taught me how to kidnap and torture cats"), irreverent ("Jesus Christ was a gangsta rapper / They killed him then he came back and made a platinum album"), and paranoid ("Federal agencies be suckin' surveillance out of my phone circuits"). Their vision is relentlessly dark and disarming, but their raised-fist rage and sharp visions of America's underbelly make for seductive listening. Hieroglyphics headline, Souls of Mischief play fifth, Casual & Pep Love play fourth, Non Phixion plays third, O.C. plays second, and the Boom Bap Project opens. Fri 8/26, 9 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, 773-478-4408 or 866-468-3401, $15 in advance, $18 at the door, 18+.

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