Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Balkan Beat Box: Give [Nat Geo Music, 2012]
An add-on at first, rapper Tomer Yosef has moved to the center of what initially presented itself as an Israeli-American Gypsy brass band making nice to a Stateside shaabi shaabi market that existed only in its dreams. Now Ori Kaplan's horns surface regularly, but doing hook duty, with the drummed and synthesized beats Tamir Muskat throws up around Yosef's militant raps providing core musical identity. Something has been lost, but what's left beats most "world" hip-hop a kilometer, and the hooks help--as do the likes of "Money," "Enemy in Economy," and "Urge to Be Violent" keeping the wordplay simple but not simpleminded. A-