Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

M.O.P.: Warriorz [Loud, 2000]
Ooh, Eminem, scary. You want a rap record to terrify your ass, how about one with a street anthem about robbing niggaz? Socially redeeming characteristic: will discourage young African American men from wearing jewelry. Billy Danze is the coarse-grained DMX bellower with the crazy laugh, Lil' Fame his rugged sidekick. Wielding brazen, unrelenting samples, they attack like a firing squad on a spree, with a fierce joy Guns N' Roses would abjure hard drugs for. As is no secret, I hate gangsta rap-hate its smugness, its brutality, its cool, its lies, its contempt for the ordinary, its failure to provide role models for young African American men. But this specimen convinces me that, sometimes, thugs have more fun-get large in the ways that matter by shitting on anybody they fucking feel like. I scoff at "guilty pleasures," too. Pleasure is nothing to feel guilty about. This may be. A-