Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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***1/2

MAC LETHAL
11:11
Rhymesayers Entertainment

White rapper spits funny tales about lithium and jihad

Kansas City, Missouri, rapper Mac Lethal has about as much wigger in him as Peter Bjorn and John. Fitting perfectly articulated rhymes to efficiently catchy beats in an accent as Middle American as canned peaches, he's a contemporary cross between a folk singer and a stand-up comic. An "alcoholic anti-mall anti-hero anti-soccer mom anti-hipster" who also claims the title "Make Out Bandit," he has a good sense of rhythm and not much funk. So these fourteen songs are never classic or deep -- not even the atheist "Jihad!" or the smitten "Lithium Lips." But almost every one will engage your interest and stick in your mind. The finale celebrates his limited, beloved hometown: "The meth-lab city of broken dreams and cracked-out dopamines/Where everybody's looking for an ocean scene." Lethal's conclusion: "I think I'm satisfied but it won't last." He's not going anywhere, though -- and he makes something of it.

Rolling Stone, Oct. 18, 2007