Picks and Pans Review: Derelicts of Dialect

updated 09/16/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/16/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

3rd Bass

For New York City rappers MC Serch (Michael Benin) and Prime Minister Pete Nice (Peter Nash), the message rides the rhythm. This spare but insinuating follow-up to The Cactus Album is light on melodies (even by rap standards), heavy on beat.

That means there's little musical distraction from the rhetorical flow—neatly metered rhymes, all couched in street vernacular and studded with pop references, including shampoo and hardware chain commercials. And this has to be the first hip-hop album to sample snippets of Edith Bunker.

The pair has fun with an ascholastic alphabet lesson: "Al'z A-B-Ceez." But mostly they're as serious as repo men.

One of their primary concerns is decrying the commercialization and dilution of rap. As you might surmise, that means they spend time dissing Vanilla Ice. Granted, it's ironic two white boys have become defenders of the rap standard, but maybe the unalloyed purity of 3rd Bass's style entitles them. (Columbia)

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