Street Sweeper Social Club - The Ghetto Blaster EP

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This disc is reminiscent of Rage's "Renegades" project, particularly due to SSSC's stellar covers of "Mama Said Knock You Out," and M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes."

There is something instantly powerful about the sound of the guitar when Tom Morello is performing. It’s what drove Rage Against The Machine and Audiososlave as it fueled both successful groups before their eventual fallouts. Fortunately for fans of the riffs, that power manifests itself yet again on The Ghetto Blaster EP from Street Sweeper Social Club, Morello’s group with The Coup’s Boots Riley, who’s also made a name for himself with militant rhymes in his arsenal. The Blaster is the duo’s second release, following last year’s self titled debut, which received mixed reviews, but it is merely an appetizer with seven tracks, including remixes and covers along with some original content.

Much like their debut, this EP comes with little buzz but it packs quite a musical punch. With Morello leading the charge, it’s easy, as it always is, to be reminded of his work with Rage Against The Machine. This disc is reminiscent of the group’s Renegades project, particularly due to Street Sweeper’s stellar covers of LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out,” and M.I.A.’s “Swagga Like Us”-inspiring “Paper Planes.” Both showcase Morello’s expertise, crafting new work out of established tracks, manipulating sounds to make it all work. Though performing covers somewhat takes away from Riley’s writing, the musical reworking of these tracks (and “Everythang”) really gives them a fresh take. Morello is solid throughout; particularly rocking solos when he gets the chance, showing off on “The New Fuck You” and providing head-nodders (or head bangers) with each cut.

As the vocalist, Riley shines when he adds his personal commentary, noting that “Hip Hop is the new Rock” while declaring that “revolution is the new fuck you.” Rhyming alongside such strong sounds, he manages to keep his head above water, though not always consistently. While Riley is more about the message than lyrical wizardry, his rhyming sometimes falls short with repetitive pieces. Their reprise of The Coup’s “Everythang,” for instance, relies on the word “every” being repeated throughout each bar, which is somewhat clever, though monotonous. Then, the shtick continues on “Scars,” where Riley uses repetition once again on every bar. While it can be a great tool to highlight a point, when Riley overuses this, the rhymes lose their strength and the flows seem too simplistic. With Morello’s backing, the rhyming and vocal presence need to be on par, and that isn’t always the case here. The message is still strong, but the delivery is lost.

For an album with less than a handful of original pieces (two covers and two remixes take away from that), it’s hard to gauge the group’s growth from the mixed reviews of their self-titled debut. It’s also hard to do so when those covers are two of the best tracks on the EP. It seems that this disc is only an appetizer to set the stage for their new material, but fans should hope the main course is more thoroughly enjoyable.


  • Dallas Wade

    I love this album, definately go out and get it. SSSC!!!

  • michael adams

    This album is awesome,everyone should get it.Tom Morello's guitar wizardry on this cd is amazing.

  • michael adams

    This album is awesome and Tom Morello proves once again what an amazing guitar player he is.

  • docwhoomph

    absolutely amazing album. one of the best i've heard in a long while. can't wait to hear more of boots' lyrics and tom's masterful guitarwork

  • Timur Meshcherov

    This is Way better than debute album. All the difference is the sound. On a first album guitar was muted and it was sucks. But here, it's perfect! 5*

  • Erica

    The album is pretty good! You should definitely give it a listen when you have the chance! :)

  • djwesty94

    I personally believe it's a great debut EP from a band trying to create something unique and interesting. Morello has outdone himself on some of the rhythm riffs, my favourite has to be Ghetto Blaster which is just amazing. I would recommend this band to anyone.

  • Anthony Borders

    Absolutely amazing!!!! I positively recommend that you buy this album! 5 STARS

  • Tyler Harlen


  • monette

    From a lot of what has been said on the review, I most agree on two points. One: "There is something instantly powerful about the sound of the guitar when Tom Morello is performing." The man is always at his best in every song, making you love the songs even more because of his heavy rockin guitar riffs and solos. Thank god Boots was able to compliment. Both guys are genius! A very good job on the remix of Promenade and I love how Tom tweaked the Paper Planes from its original version. Two: "It seems that this disc is only an appetizer to set the stage for their new material..." With 2 great releases, I hope the 3rd is on its way!

  • Erick

    Totally love this album man!!! i think i like the first one better though :D

  • golddeath

    This EP blows my socks off. Its excellent lyrics and smashing guitar riffs will keep this in my disc changer for sometime to come.

  • Trentskers

    I'll agree that two of the covers ("Mama Said Knock You Out" and "Paper Planes") are two of the best songs on the album, but "The New Fuck You," the title track, and the "remix" of "Promenade" are also pretty damn good. I agree that some of the lyrics are a bit repetitive, but I think it's a step up from some of the lyrical content on the band's debut album. Like I've said elsewhere, I think this EP is showing the band growing and becoming more comfortable in their skin.

  • Alamat33

    My only gripe is that I wish there were more songs hah!

  • Hidde

    Boots his flow and Morello's funky guitar really compliment eachother.

  • Isaac Leeman


  • Isaac Leeman

    The EP is great Not to much new stuff but het its just an EP

  • Nickcole25

    I really enjoy the covers of Paper Planes and Mama said knock you out. Boots hits hard with his lyrics and Tom leaves the crowd blown away with his funky guitar riffs. Great album!

  • Anonymous

    I agree that Morello is a great artist, but as a hip-hop fan, i probably appreciate what Boots does more. I'm a big Eminem fan, but i'd just as happily listen to these guys - And the political message that they put across only adds to it for me. Awesome record, although i probably prefer their first, self titled one.

  • curbstompa


  • Kumar 'Prone' Santana

    Renegades is right! Coup covers were right on, Morello is still the man and Bootz rhymes is still poppin!

  • Khaetlyn

    If you were a fan of The Coup, Rage Against the Machine, both, or none, you have to listen to this EP. All of the aforementioned groups will not be disappointed. While I usually don't like it when bands include covers on their albums or EPs, Morello's guitar skills and Riley's vocals give all of the covers on this EP a new spin--perhaps better than the originals.

  • Anonymous

    Love to hear that Rage sound again, but why the fuck did Morello choose this Boots chump to work with? If he had even an average emcee on these tracks then SSSC would sound so ill, but Boots has no flow, weak ass delivery, horrible lyrics, and just lacks presence on the mic. Imagine how dope this album would be if they rotated different rappers in to fit each song (think DOOM, Del, or Pos with Gorillaz.) The chance for greatness with Morello's backing on Mama Said is completely blown when the man behind the mic just sounds like a pussy when he's talking about knocking you out.

  • Osirus

    Lovin this album. Need more music like this

  • Graabeklis

    Amazing EP. Listining to these songs makes me wanna stand up and unleash the rage!

  • chino

    I love SSSC and I dig covers, so this EP is right up my ally...Check these guys out live too!

  • standard

    "[Boots Riley] manages to keep his head above water"!? You're not listening. Just got my pre-ordered CD. From the song Ghetto Blaster: "Shotgun sonata/from personas non grata/with a plot to rock harder than the second intifada" and "I'm from the land of the free labor/that planted the plan of the/ black-and-branded to scram it over to canada" This man doesn't merely "keep his head above water" lyrically, he damn near walks on it. "The New Fuck You" is dope, lyrically and musically. And not one word repeats on "Scars". It's one of Boots's humorous songs. Raw as hell. What song were you listening to?

  • Y.Matt.T

    ha... I'm getting this in the mail tomorrow. SSSC is the S**T!!!

  • Sarah

    Can't wait to be holdin this cd in my hands and crankin it in my car. I really hope they have a proper tour across the US for this, because I can only imagine how awesome it will be live.

  • Disobedient

    Once again, SSSC does not disappoint. Like 'Renegades' SSSC breathes new life into sick tracks like 'Paper Planes'.

  • bankrobber

    Everything I've heard on the album, besides the MIA track, is bangin. Boots lyrically destroys most rappers. The song "Everythang" contains two of the best verses in the last decade. Fuck with this.

  • Damien

    This album is gonna be really good. It has some covers like "Paper Planes" on it that sounds really good so overall i can't wait to get my copy!

  • Joel Monroe

    I can't wait for this to come out, it isn't just music, it's powerful hardcore "anthems for the revolution," bringing out the best of Tom's magic and the sick rhymes of Boots Riley all into one jam-packed EP.

  • DesertBurst

    I like this EP but you can tell that "Scars" and "Ghetto Blaster" are sort of filler songs. Don't get me wrong I love this band, I think they have a lot more potential to do a lot better. I would have liked to have seen some more original stuff on it. I like "Paper Planes" "Mamma Said Knock You Out" but those aren't their's (obviously). "Everythang" I'm pretty sure is just a remake from Boots' group, The Coup. I'm glad I can finally listen to the extended version of "Promenade" without having to go on YouTube. However, the best truly "new" track on the ep is "The New Fuck You." I'm glad that this is just an ep instead of a full album. If it was, I'd rate it way less. Once again, this band has great potential. "Promenade" and "100 Little Curses" proves that. Hopefully their future albums will have a lot more tracks like those instead of a bunch of covers.


    Ok people, go a little easier on my man Tom Morello lol. Remember one thing, he is one of the best guitarists of our generation and Rage agfainst the machine is the original Rock/Hiphop group, and the best, Fuck Limp Bizkit. Tom's starting to branch out into hiphop, but i'm not to happy with this or the cypress hill collabo. This Boots Riley dude is pretty lame. Personally, i think he should do a collab album with Obie Trice, Obie allways raps sick over rock guitar samples. But to be honest, Rage Against the Machine really needs to start making new albums. Hiphop and Metal heads alike could use an other rage album for sure

    • Keith Irwin

      You think that Rage is the original Rap/Rock group? Please learn some history. Urban Dance Squad preceded them by like half a decade. They had two rock/rap albums out before Rage had even formed. And if you think that Boots is lame, then you need to stop listening to rap music. If you can't recognize Boots' talent, then you should go listen to metal or bluegrass or something. He's one of the best to have ever done it.

    • Diggler

      "This Boots Riley dude"? People actin' like Boots hasn't been dropping classic material for over 15 years.

  • bob d

    I think the M.I.A. cover is way better than the Cool J. I still encourage anybody to buy Coup's whole catalog or Rage's, before this.

  • rucks

    Heard most tracks already, pretty dope.