Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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UTFO

  • UTFO [Select, 1985] B
  • Skeezer Pleezer [Select, 1986] B
  • Lethal [Select, 1987] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

UTFO [Select, 1985]
For years rappers boasted that they were in it for the money, which given the amounts of money involved proved how close to the street they still were. These days you can't be so sure. After announcing their educated synthesis with a verse in pig Latin on their first single, the new guys on the block have proven street professionals--if they don't use a rhyming dictionary, then they'll probably market one. And Full Force comes up with the one great hook Roxanne Roxanne needs. B

Skeezer Pleezer [Select, 1986]
Some of their sketches and tall tales--especially the cheerfully amoral anticrime versifying of "Just Watch"--sound observed. But too often the gimmicks are received and the generalizations fabricated. And they can not "sing a little bit." B

Lethal [Select, 1987]
They got no principles, so they head for the street, where rap albums sell--with its skeezer, its hard-on, and its dozens, even "Let's Get It On" isn't radio-ready. At their most B-boy, they tempt me to organize a boycott of my fellow "suckers" and "fags," but they do it with flair, and though the quotation marks around "Lethal" and "Diss" will be widely misconstrued, they satisfy my admittedly flexible irony requirement. Not only that, "The Ride" is a dick rap that burns rubber, and "Burning Bed" is a better half's revenge. B+