Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

New Jack City [Giant, 1991]
So what if the ballads are soul on dry ice, not even prime Sweat/Gill? The fast stuff dances the synthbeat interface between rap and disco in a state-of-the-craft showcase. This is black contempopop without filler or willful stupidity--from Color Me Badd's explicit sex to 2 Live Crew's Afrogangsta pride, the songs are exhibits in a morality play that, like the movie, would lose bite if it didn't flirt with exploitation. A-