Due to the historic election of Barack Obama, 2009 seems destined to be remembered as the year of hope, and one Rhode Island up-and-comer is angling to ride this trend to success in the New Year. Whether Jon Hope‘s moniker is a lucky accident of birth or a well-chosen stage name, he is clearly aware of the parallels; in 2008, he embarked on The Audacity Tour, riffing on the title of the President-Elect’s popular book, The Audacity of Hope
. Be that as it may, Hope’s new single finds him expressing a pessimistic, if realistic sentiment regarding poverty in America. On Roll Call, off his forthcoming Some Kind of Wonderful (due out sometime this year), the emcee begins by giving a shout-out to each of the country’s popular hip-hop regions, and goes on to discuss the social ills that plague cities all across the US, from drug-dealing and violent crime to poor public schools and crooked cops. Over Taktix’ keyboard-driven beat, the underground emcee offers a poignant reminder of what our country faces in the journey from hope to real and lasting change.