Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Rebirth of the Loud [Priority, 2000]
Smaller labels often have personalities--sometimes hateful ones. Since the dawn of N.W.A., Priority has pushed a brand of brutalism that rejected shows of empathy as, shall we say, unmanly--un"real." So it's not enough to say that bands who would sound ugly covering Howlin' Wolf won't do any better by U-God's "Rumble," not when the dire likes of Sevendust and the Kottonmouth Kings get out of Republic's rival Take a Bite Outta Rhyme alive. One need add that these "14 blistering tracks fusing thrash-rock, hardcore-punk and hip-hop infused metal" usually bypass hip-hop altogether, and feature Priority-associated songs when they don't. One might also point out that this is where Mos Def's "Rock N Roll" gets as stupid as it always was. D