Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • Shango Funk Theology [Celluloid, 1984] B-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Shango Funk Theology [Celluloid, 1984]
With its positive party line, international beats, ensemble vocals, and tributes to P-Funk, Sun Ra, and Sly, this may well be the first rap album that fully expresses the ideals and ideas of the group with its name on the cover--or at least of its esteemed leader, who happens to be Afrika Bambaataa. But because not one member of the ensemble (or all of them together) qualifies as any kind of grandmaster, and because Material's best rap track is still by Tribe II, the cuts that open each side (functionally enough, too) never even broke through as twelve-inches. And whatever they express, "Thank You" and "Let's Party Down" are filler. B-