Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2013-04-05

2013-04-05

Action Bronson: The Program (free download EP, 2011) Four songs about sampling and not all that much food ("Mr. Songwriter," "Amuse Bouche") ***

Action Bronson: Rare Chandeliers (Vice, 2012) Never a good sign when a spoken-word sample IDs the album in more than name only ("Rare Chandeliers," "Demolition Man") *

4two7: Internal Dialogue (3sixty5, 2012) Hip-hop bizzer starts his own album, develops brain cancer, dispenses with tumor, and finishes his own album, which evinces the balanced confidence his backstory deserves ("Butta on Ya Muffintop," "I Lov the Way") **

Ghostface Killah: Apollo Kids (Def Jam, 2010) Living off his past, but it's quite a past and a damned decent living ("In the Park," "Purified Thoughts") ***

Illuminati Congo: All Eye See (Nyahbanga, 2012) Skank-prone Chicago stay-positives mix genres, beats, races, moods, live-vs.-sampled, and martial disciplines ("Get My Bruce Lee On," "Machete") *

Inspectah Deck/7L & Esoteric: Czarface (Brick/Fly Casual, 2013) Anti-mixtape features foldout of the comic-book supervillain it invents and celebrates, also some professional-grade hip-hop ("Savagely Attack," "Rock Beast," "Let It Off") *

Wu-Block: Wu-Block (E-One, 2012) The auteur provides the guacamole-canoli-parolee on this Ghostface album in disguise, but Jadakiss himself sums it up: "Crack spot stories/To Allah be the glory" ("Drivin Round," "Take Notice") ***

The Man With the Iron Fists (Soul Temple, 2012) Less outrageous and fulfilling than the flick, more outrageous and fulfilling than most soundtracks (Pusha T/Raekwon/Joell Ortiz/Danny Brown, "Tick, Tock"; Ghostface Killah/M.O.P./Pharoahe Monch, "Black Out") **

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