Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2012-01-27


Himanshu: Nehru Jackets (free download, 2012) Following his partner Kool A.D.'s more scattered Palm Wine Drinkard mixtape by just a few weeks, Das Racist's Heems comes up with a free album highlighted by two songs as strong as anything on Relax: "Womyn," a theological codicil to the devotional "Booty in the Air," and "NYC Cops," a brutal, fact-filled catalogue of people of color dead by peace officer. It dips in the middle, and though the PSAs from Ravi Shankar and, if I'm not mistaken, the late great Jocko Henderson sustain themselves, the up-and-comer cameos--Action Bronson, Danny Brown, Mr. Muthafuckin Ed, Puerile Gambino--make you wish the new veteran would jump back in. And then, starting with the quasi-autobiographical "Desi Shoegaze Taiko" two thirds of the way in, the material rights itself so smartly you'd think he could do this forever. So remember that he can't and get it while you can. A-

Tha Grimm Teachaz: There's a Situation on the Homefront (Breakfast, 2011) Dennehy: The Prequel--the newly unearthed 1993 album by DKz and his buddy PMDF, later known as Serengeti's phone repairman pal Kenny Dennis and Serengeti's partner in hip-hop-twice-removed Hi-Fidel. It's a typically elaborate joke about the silliness of what some now romanticize as rap's golden age, with its funk loops and Hiroshima-meaner-Regina-schemer-carpet cleaner-Pasadena-Beemer-Ipanema rhymes. Yet as always with Serengeti, it's filled with affection for the things it mocks. A mite specialized, sure. But funny, musical, and also warm. A-

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