Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Great Rap Hits [Sugarhill, 1980]
Well, not exactly. This expedient collection is why Sugarhill changed over from fabrications like Sequence and the Sugarhill Gang itself to street-dance kids like the Funky Four Plus One, half of whose Enjoy debut, "Rappin and Rocking the House," brings up side one. The slight shift of gears is almost startling--the real party people stay a split second ahead of the beat, while such creatures of the sixteen-track as Super Wolf and Lady B. lag cunningly or uncomprehendingly behind. Still, not a one of these six cuts is without charm--by mining the dozens and God knows what else for boasts, insults, and vernacular imagery, Sylvia Inc. could convince anybody but party people that rap is really about words. A-