Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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**1/2

ICE-T
The 7th Deadly Sin
Coroner/Atomic Pop

On "God Forgive Me," the finale here until the self-aggrandizing (if wittily Zionist-baiting) debut single "Exodus" was tacked on, Ice T offers almost the only hint of the sardonic persona play that once terrified a republic. In it he begs absolution for inventing "gangsta rap," which--with "no positive messages, no redeeming value"--"changed the course of the world." Well, maybe that's not as ridiculous as it seems. But certainly no such claim can be made for this collection of pimp and dope tales, which transcend clipped genre hackwork only on the chilling "Always Wanted To Be a Hoe," where an abused 16-year-old coos the title hook like she can't wait to get the next dick in her mouth. Watching Ice's back is a dumbfounding procession of old-time rappers you hoped had gone into management, including King Tee, Brother Marquis, Ant Banks, Kid Frost, Onyx, Kam, and, always last and always least, the odious Too Short. Why is it we never can find a cop when we need one?

Rolling Stone, Oct. 28, 1999