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Rakaa, one third of world-renowned hip-hop crew Dilated Peoples is releasing Crown of Thorns (Decon Records), his debut solo album after four albums with his group and numerous guest spots. Produced by fellow members Evidence and DJ Babu with guest production by The Alchemist, El-P, !llmind, Exile, Sid Roams, King Jahzzy, dj honda and Eric Bobo & DJ Rhettmatic, Crown of Thorns is the sonic prism that has absorbed the myriad cultures taken in by the travelling emcee and reflected them back in the form of a groundbreaking debut. It's not an overstatement to say that Rakaa's whole life has, consciously or not, gone into the production of this album. "This record is my opportunity to give context so people understand more what I'm trying to do," says the emcee. "It's the first time I'm really making a conscious decision to sit down and let somebody come into my house, and after all of this time, I'm welcoming all guests." Some of those guests include, Defari, Chali 2na, Fashawn, Aloe Blacc, and the legendary KRS-ONE.