Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2013-07-02


J Cole: Friday Night Lights (Roc Nation download, 2010) The good tracks keep on coming, but the irresistible ones total, well, one ("Blow Up," "Farewell") ***

J Cole: The Warm Up (Roc Nation download, 2009) He's so talented you can hear how much he wants it, so talented you wince every time he shoots himself in the foot, e.g. "Put some chains on my niggaz like I own slaves" ("World Is Empty," "Get By") **

Fat Tony: Rabdargab (HomeSkool Rekordz, 2010) Smart funny goodnik learns to see past his dick, with beatz ("Not Now," "Bad") **

Oreo Jones: Betty (Rad Summer, 2012) Naptown indie-rapper runs Frankie Lymon and Jackson Pollock through his beat-pumped emotional wringer ("Option Control & the Spirit," "Needy") ***

P.O.S.: We Don't Even Live Here (Rhymesayers Entertainment, 2012) "I don't want to think about it I just want to get down," only neither turns out to be in his control ("Fuck Your Stuff," "Weird Friends [We Don't Even Live Here]") *

Serengeti: Saal (Graveface, 2013) Singsong raps or vice versa on brand new marginal themes over basswise chamber-pop beats ("Accommodating," "Karate") **

Kanye West: Yeezus (Def Jam, 2013) Sign spotted on church in the wild: Death Grips--Be Like Them ("New Slaves," "Hold My Liquor") ***

Young Fathers: Tape One (Anticon, 2012) Compositionally, one crucial twist short of what they have in them ("Romance," "Rumbling") **

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