Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Das Racist: Shut Up, Dude [Mishka download, 2010]
Just like albums you pay for, both 2010 mixtapes from the Queens-W'burg-Wesleyan duo of color are seriously front-loaded, tailing off to scattered cherry bombs after half a dozen Roman candles. But on this debut (already hard to find, so get on it), the default electro loops sometimes reduce their unfailingly clever rhymes to merely clever free associations. Lines like "Hugo Chavez"'s "W.E.B. DuBois/We be de boyz" are worth hearing in any context, and partly as a result, "Hugo Chavez" is above the median anyway. But it's not the wicked "Fake Patois," which is even funnier as well as deeper than the super-catchy and more frequently cited cellphone-culture song masquerading as a fast-food song, "Combination Pizza Hit and Taco Bell." Goin' up like NASDAQ, they don't even know if they're BMI or ASCAP. Guys this intelligent had better learn, and they will. A-