Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Buck 65: Secret House Against the World [WEA, 2005]
Like most rappers, Richard Terfry sings at his peril, and like most rappers, he's better off with made beats than played ones. Nevertheless, with occasional input from Tortoise and D-Styles, he and two Halifax pals reclaim the sonic legacy of Serge Gainsbourg. His growly flow confuses Afrocentrists, and there's a chance the guy "who can't tell the difference between real art and high kitsch" will prove to be Terfry himself. But even free-associating he can outrhyme 99 percent of the spitters who've never heard of him, and every time the one about the goldfish comes up it's clear he has more stories to tell. B+