Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

7L & Esoteric: A New Dope [Babygrande, 2006]
In which the Boston duo, known insofar as they're known at all for Premier-they-wish beats and metaphor-is-murder battle rhymes, lightens up on a basically satirical CD. "Get Dumb" sets the intellectually hyphy tone: "Billie Holiday he's the best/That cool band Beck is touring out West," or, "Bin Laden he's only bluffin'/She's on the pill so I won't catch nothin'." Esoteric treats himself to lists, similes and sexual contretemps. 7L injects scratches and drum breaks into Middle Eastern flutes, porn loops and suspense-movie music. Indie-rap lives. A-