There is no question when Cage's career took off: it was in 1997 when he released the "Agent Orange b/w Radiohead" 12" on Fondle'Em Records. "Agent Orange" quickly became an underground classic and earned Cage a large cult following.
Five years later and his debut LP is finally here. Christian Palko takes Cage to a whole 'nother level on Movies For The Blind. While the shock value of his demented lyrics is undeniable, there is also a message behind the madness. Cage's anti-conformist views and rejection of society's traditional values are very apparent after a few listens to the album. Cage's LP plays like a diary, the kind of diary that would get you institutionalized if someone else read it.
As expected on this Eastern Conference release, Mighty Mi handles the bulk of the production. His best contribution comes on the previously released "Suicidal Failure." If there is any song that paints a picture of Cage's disturbed psyche, it is this one. Lines like "shoot myself in the arm and start bleedin'/don't wanna go yet stick a straw in my wound and taste my heart beatin'" are just too graphic not to be shook by them.
While Cage is not overshadowed by the production, the beats do an incredible job of accentuating the themes of Cage's songs. It is no doubt best exemplified by his classic, Necro-produced "Agent Orange." Rjd2 creates a haunting soundscape for Cage on the dark and melodic "Among The Sleep." In terms of lyrically content, the track is one of Cage's gems. Rush lends a dope Dre soundalike beat with "Down The Left Hand Path." The song features some vintage Cage lyrics, "I was mislead/but once I found the way/I convinced a group of 19 that they should drown today/how I flipped it/clipped it after madness/then the dead came back and haunted the wrong address/cause they some stupid dead motherfuckers/just like all your bitches all Weathermen fluffers." Speaking of Weathermen, Camu Tao fuels Cage with an ill driving beat on "Teen Age Death."
The album really only falters in two spots, "CK Won" just doesn't do much and the chorus gets tiresome really quickly. "The Soundtrack" is one of Cage's best performances, features a terrible Mighty Mi beat that is just all over the place, making the song difficult to listen to.
Few other emcees are as evil and twisted as Cage, and it's not just what he says, but how he says it. His words really get in your head because his lines are so vivid and delivered with such conviction. The intro sets the tone that each song and interlude captures and adds another layer to the mix. The strongest point of the album is its cohesiveness and conceptual nature. Movies For The Blind is the best album to come out of Eastern Conference since The High & Mighty's debut LP and one of 2002's best albums.