Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Africa Raps [Trikont, 2002]
Although there are traces of Wu in what I'd rather call these rhythms or these sonics than these beats, the reason this (not African but) West African collection smashes through the language barrier is that hip hop music as a whole is only a flavor, albeit a prominent one, in a sound that remains Sahel--sometimes looped and sometimes live near as I can tell, mostly mbalax but traditional too, with plenty of live and sampled singing as well as some rapping you'll savor just for the sound. I wanna hear Mystikal battle guttural old schoolers BMG 44. I know I won't, but I wanna. A-