Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • No Hard Feelings [Interscope, 2016] ***
  • Big Dreez [Interscope, 2019] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

No Hard Feelings [Interscope, 2016]
If this Chicago rapper-turning-singer was half as irresistible as I wish she was, there'd be more than one thing on her loosely plotted tale of trading Jamal in for Sean that's half as great as its great greatest hit ("Body," "Afford My Love") ***

Big Dreez [Interscope, 2019]
With CupcakKe triple-X-ing street-rap bravado on one side of her and Noname soft-slamming grace notes and sex rhymes on the other, Chicago's major-label female hip-hopper had more to prove than she figured in 2016, when her debut album's failure to crack the top 100 seemed a mere bump in the road. Not that she's topped the competition. But her only misstep here is a new Jeremih collab where--inevitably in a world where good sex is so often a stroke of luck--their concerted attempt to top the relaxed "Body" with the overreaching "Ecstasy" comes off forced and stiff. Romantic duets with Jacquees and Derez De'Shon aim lower and hit higher, however, and in general she sidles into money and fame brags with a reassuring ease that coexists nicely with her pitch-corrected raps and croons. So not only is she still in the game, she's upped her own. B+