Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2012-08-31


Bang On!: [Sic] (Big Dada, 2012) "Grime" my arse--musically accented, class-conscious, Liverpudlian, kitchen-sink Brit-rap ("Suttin Like That," "Teeth") **

Azealia Banks: Fantasea (self-released download, 2012) Irreverent lip and talent-show talent there, musical follow-through not so much ("Fuck Up the Fun," "Jimanji") **

Big K.R.I.T.: K.R.I.T. Wuz Here (Green Streets Entertainment download, 2012) Endless pride, solid beats, a key credo, and a few hooks ("Gumpshun," "They Got Us," "Children of the World") ***

Big K.R.I.T.: Live From the Underground (Def Jam, 2012) Major-label debut asks the musical question, Who's pimping who ("If I Fall," "Hydroplaning," "Praying Man") *

Killer Mike: R.A.P. Music (Williams Street, 2012) Conscious-going-on-political gangsta's laments and celebrations are more tough-minded than his threats, boasts, and analyses ("Willie Burke Sherwood," "Anywhere but Here," "R.A.P. Music") **

Lyrics Born: As U Were (Decon, 2011) "When I was younger I/Used to wonder why/People in the public eye/Always lose their fuckin' minds/Now I'm coming up on 35/They didn't teach this shit in Berkeley High" ("Pillz," "Oh, Baby!") ***

Nas: Life Is Good (Def Jam, 2012) Reflections of a bigshot who, as he mentions several times, is damn big ("Daughters," "Accident Murderers") ***

Radioinactive: The Akashic Record (Flying Carpet Studios download, 2012) Egyptian-American rapper remembers where he came from but has too evolved a sense of humor to just stick it in your face ("Gypsy Shoe," "Antibiotics") **

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