Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Strange Famous

Great White North rapper goes back to basics, gets hooked on drums

The rapper raised in Nova Scotia as Richard Terfry almost tripped over his own ecumenism on 2005's Secret House Against the World -- lots of keyboards, with singing to match. On this "hooked on drums" return, his worst offense against the basics is a concept: 1957 -- among many other things the year the Situationist International began. Fortunately, the title is the last we hear of that. The concept is just a rubric to help him control his insatiable appetite for colloquial poetry. It permits him to write songs about Bettie Page and shutterbug porn, right, but also beatniks, hobos, gray-flannel conformists and cops in shades, while tossing off rhymes like "apocalypse rocket ships" and "Drown in doubt/Down and out." Buck 65's percussive funk and gruff flow serve language that deserves no less. Anybody who can write a song that shows the Beatles the door is worth a checkout, right? "Nowhere Man," meet "Mr. Nobody."

Rolling Stone, Nov. 1, 2007