Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Genius of Rap [Island, 1982]
Even granting Sugarhill's unavailability, this compilation of six minor hits (plus bonus do-it-yourself 12-inch) could be badder. Why T-Ski Valley rather than Count Coolout or Love Bug Star-Ski? Why so Brother D.? Why the hell no Treacherous Three? Indeed, I filed three of these selections away unremarked simply because they weren't worth four bucks. That said, it's my pleasure to add that two of them--Afrika Bambaataa's "Jazzy Sensation" and Bop Rock & the Rhythm Rebellion's "Searching Rap"--are definitely worth two or three, especially since they flank Grandmaster Flash's "Superprappin'," an absolutely classic James Brown rip that more than makes up for Lenny White's "Twennynine (The Rap)" (why no Mel Brooks?). The Sugarhill best-ofs are still where to catch up. But once you're hooked you'll want this too. B+