Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Ain't Illegal Yet

"We want to get the funk out of the two Milli Vanilli guys because we don't appreciate how the recording industry is treating the artists," says proven foe of fraudulent funk George Clinton in the March/April New Funk Times (Ehrenstrasse 19, W-5000 Köln 1, Germany). Clinton notes that the Four Tops were the only Motown act who never "had people sing lead and background" for them. "`Artist' can mean anything. Dancing is an art and pantomiming is, too--even lip-synching is an art! That's a hard thing to do--to dance and lip-synch. And it's hard to lip-synch when you are passionate 'cause when you get carried away and you want to pause it--`wait a minute'--, but the tape says `Fuck you!' The tape doesn't want to wait." Passing off the duo's egomania as the inevitable fruit of their biz-determined charade, George hopes to repeat his reclamation job on the then scandalized, since high-charting Vanessa Williams. "Once we finish with them, they'll definitely be sangin'! I mean, everybody can sing--even if it's only in the bathroom or a crowd." Carsten Heyn, who manages the act now dubbed Rob & Fab, says they're currently in a European studio working up a late-summer single. He was sufficiently flattered by Dr. Funkenstein's plan to try and arrange a meeting last time his clients hit L.A., but couldn't make the hookup.

Village Voice, 1991