Picks and Pans Review: Rap Master Ronnie

UPDATED 06/18/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 06/18/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT

Reathel Bean & the Doonesbury Break Crew

Sometimes the whole is equal to much less than the sum of its parts. That is certainly the case with this 12-inch single. Ordinarily it would be so slight as to be beneath notice, but because the track was written by Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau to music by Elizabeth Swados, it does provoke amazement: How could such talented people turn out such junk? The idea of having President Reagan cut a rap record to try to woo minority votes would seem to set up can't-miss satire. This, though, is unmusical as well as verbosely unfunny. Bean, a New York actor, doesn't come close to sounding like the President. In one sequence, he sings "He be gettin' brothers off the street/Hey, at least I've tried/If only more were qualified." Even Duke, Doonesbury's superhustler with the heart of iron, has a better sense of humor than that demonstrated by Trudeau in this fatuous waste of time. (Silver Screen, 147 W. 24th St., New York, N.Y. 10011 )

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