Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Rap 1 [Profile, 1985]
With the serfs fleeing Sugarhill, the honest disco independents at Profile head rap central, but despite four or five good tracks and a consistent electrohop sound, their compilation isn't as convenient as it might seem. The Disco Four's "School Days" was hipper paired with the less didactic "Throwdown," and the unavoidable "Sucker M.C.'s" cuts deeper on both the 12-inch and the estimable Run-D.M.C., where you'll also enjoy "Jam-Master Jay." "Gettin' Money" proves once again that Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde are as crassly conceited as racists and old fools think all rappers are, and Fresh 3 M.C.'s still sound like a novelty act to me. Which leaves Rammelzee vs. K-Rob's laid-out, wacked-back "Beat Bop," so one-of-a-kind it's a single by definition, and Pumpkin's electrohop lesson "King of the Beat," the only track that turns this house into a home. B