Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Gift of Gab

  • Rejoice! Rappers Are Rapping Again! [Giftstribution EP, 2018] ***
  • Finding Inspiration Somehow [Nature Sounds, 2021] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Rejoice! Rappers Are Rapping Again! [Giftstribution EP, 2018]
Don't let the "again" suck you in--of course he's more fluid and sapient than the Soundcloud upstarts, but they have things to tell the world that he can't ("Gentrification Song," "Freedom Form Flowing") ***

Finding Inspiration Somehow [Nature Sounds, 2021]
The brainy Blackalicious frontman died at 50 in June, but he went out flying and grounded at the same time--glad to be alive and knowing death might be in the offing, which you can tell because "kidney failure" is such a rare turn of phrase in the popular music canon. Riding beats designed to flow not signify, "Gentrification" revisits a ruined-because-rehabbed hood where "money took the place of love" and "You Gon' Make It in the End" fuses firm moralism with irrepressible affection as he maps the foibles of friends he swears have better in store. "The Idea of America" is one he knows will remain only an idea until its citizens remember that Texas used to be Mexico and our new president is an "American-born Iraqi." "A Weekend in Venice" relives a dream romance. "Back to the Light" makes a pass at the universe itself. A-