Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Injury Reserve: Floss [Las Fuegas, 2016]
Two rappers from, well, suburban Phoenix--native Arizonan Ritchie With the T, a year short of a B.A. with his dad dead and his mom fighting cancer, and Oakland immigrant Steppa J. Groggs, pushing 30 with drug, alcohol, and weight problems and a new daughter--generate the most unpretentious hip-hop you ever heard. No bitch fictions unless protecting her bad self with their dad self counts. No street fictions either--if you must come strapped, they request you leave it in your pants. No preaching even as they dispatch anti-black bias, anti-Native American bias, consumer fetishism, global warming, and the trans bathroom perplex in one 100-second interlude. No flexible flow or crystalline enunciation, yet every apt word distinct. Parker Corey's production nothing to tweet about, yet every beat strong and hook real. The sole questionable moment comes when Ritchie anticipates his Grammy nomination in "Look Mama I Did It," a longshot even if you give him props for not claiming the statuette itself. But when they say they're making a living at it, you'll believe they deserve to earn more in this perilous year than they did last. A-