Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2011-12-27


Big K.R.I.T.: Return of 4Eva (free download, 2011) "I ain't rap about dope nor do I sell it," raps a Mississippi "country boy" who's more mixed about pimping--maybe unreadable, maybe of two minds, maybe blurring the pimp sound and the pimp hustle. The sound he's definitely got down: a rich, comfortable funk he transports south from Willie Hutch's The Mack. And as befits someone who believes N.I.G.G.E.R. stands for "Naive Individual Glorifying Greed and Encouraging Racism" and gets life satisfaction from rotating his tires, his sound equals his hustle. Some may think his rhymes are too simple. I find "Some thangs are forever, nothin' ever last/Like the risin' of the sun or when Big Mama pass" pretty deep myself. B+

Childish Gambino: EP (free download EP, 2011) "Set the game ablaze I'm an arcade fire," Cheezy boasts, but because he "don't wanna be alone," he joins a clique of "freaks and geeks" where he's "down with the black girls of every single culture/Filipino, Armenian girls on my sofa," only they're not thick enough, so he'll "make music for wack blacks to blast back" until he finds "a small chick with a fat ass" ready to "make out with a Gap ad" who's "not a thug a/k/a what they pretend to be." Of course, the Gap ad in question isn't exactly a geek anymore. He's a stand-up comedian bringing intelligent rap to the masses, one one-liner at a time. B+

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