Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Sway & King Tech

  • This or That [Interscope, 1999] A-
  • Still [Thrill Jockey, 2000] *

Consumer Guide Reviews:

This or That [Interscope, 1999]
All year I've been wasting good review time listening to the commercially unavailable rap mixtapes Cornerstone Promotion mails out. Hopping hiply among foreshortened current and prospective hits, exclusive freestyles, and unclassifiable obscurities, they convey as no single-artist album can the image of an inexhaustible culture comprising an infinity of adjustable musical parts. Sway and Tech, whose Wake Up Show is said to reach 11.5 million listeners on 17 stations, accomplish something similar on the first major-label rap mix record unimpinged by discernible copyright hassles. Rather than embracing a whole culture, though, they merely establish the underground's right to claim old-school, as when snippets of "I Know You Got Soul," "Looking at the Front Door," and "They Reminisce Over You" lead from the Jurassic 5 to Kool Keith and improve both. Other highlights: "The Anthem" from KRS-One to Xzibit, respect for Canibus, and Eminem's little-boy act. A-

Still [Thrill Jockey, 2000]
If Yo La weren't so darn pop ("Asphalt Road," "Fussy Fuss"). *