Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Biz Markie: All Samples Cleared [Cold Chillin'/Warner Bros., 1993]
Singin' in the rain 'cause he got the audacity, Biz returns from legal limbo to mumble, spritz, fart around, cop a hit from McFadden & Whitehead, ride four different versions of "Get Out My Life Woman," and rhyme "audacity" with "Butch Cassidy." From "Family Tree," which builds off 20 first names, to "The Gator," which cuts to the beat in the interests of asthma prevention, he never tries harder than is absolutely necessary, and seldom comes up less than beguiling and hilarious. Masterstrokes: the positive "I'm a Ugly Nigger (So What)," in the great tradition of Huckleberry Finn, and "I'm Singin'," in which he does for Gene Kelly what he tried to do for Gilbert O'Sullivan--and nobody is thin-skinned enough to stop him. A-