Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Dream Warriors

  • And Now the Legacy Begins [4th & Broadway, 1991] ***
  • Anthology: A Decade of Hits 1988-1998 [Priority, 1999] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

And Now the Legacy Begins [4th & Broadway, 1991]
West Indian daisy age from boogie-down Toronto ("Ludi," "My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style") ***

Anthology: A Decade of Hits 1988-1998 [Priority, 1999]
Once these black Canadians put out a well-liked album that missed the tail end of Daisy Age. Then they vanished. Gang Starr and Digable Planets connections got their next CD a token U.S. release, but the one after was strictly commonwealth--as far as the south-of-the-border rap community was concerned, King Lu and Capital Q no longer existed. So maybe nobody told them that you claim street no matter how middle-class you are, that jazz samples were a doomed fad, that Digable Planets blinked out faster than the evening star. And maybe that was good. Probably it didn't feel like that to them; one of their best songs is called "I've Lost My Ignorance," and I'm sure the disillusion hurt. But though their inspiration wanes slightly, they never surrender their thoughtful intricacy or race-man lyricism. Certainly they belong in the same sentence as De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. And "Test of Purity" is the best song about nasty sex a nasty music has ever produced--in part because it's so explicit, in part because it's so imaginative, in part because it's so kind. A-