Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Mr. Magic's Rap Attack, Vol. 2 [Profile, 1986]
Run-D.M.C. doth not a rap label make, and that ain't all, 'cause these days rap has a serious one-better problem. Playing the dozens live leaves you some slack, but enter the age of mechanical reproduction and they can check you out against history every time. Inevitably, shock deliquesces into outrage. So Pebblee-Poo's half of the Masterdon Committee's "Get Off My Tip!"--"You're a twenty-dollar nigger in a fifty-dollar world with a hundred-dollar hat and I'm a million-dollar girl"--fails to justify Dana Dane's compulsion to top macho with gynephobia. Nor do junk-culture excavations by the Kartoon Krew, the Showboys, Word of Mouth, and other off-target one-shots yield actual novelty hooks. B-