Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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MC Ren

  • Shock of the Hour [Ruthless, 1993] D

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Shock of the Hour [Ruthless, 1993]
Ren isn't as half-assed or bald-faced as Eazy-E. But at least Eazy serves the social function of attacking Dr. Dre--while his delightful inner-sleeve photo of his homie in sequins and eye makeup doesn't make Dre a "bitch," and wouldn't make him less a man if it did (though it may help explain Dre's, what shall we call it, insecurity around women), I figure the more energy these characters devote to tearing each other down the less we do. Ren, on the other hand, raps as dully as Dre himself--his blunt instrument doesn't approach the loud arrogance or thick timbre of, to choose an example strictly at random, Tim Dog's "F--k Compton." His rhymes are dumbass. To save on publishing he leaves most of the beats to his boys. And oy, what concepts. On side one he brutalizes black people, especially but by no means exclusively black women (sample witticism: "Your pussy really stinks/Who the fuck bought you drinks?"). Then, to cover his tracks, he turns around and spouts the most ignorant, racist Afrocentric bullshit yet to hit the charts. Not only does he daydream about the random slaughter of "Caucasians," he also advocates the murder of any black person disloyal enough to befriend them. Hey--I know those people. D