It's ironic that, not long ago, people were saying rap music was too forbidding to gain mass acceptance. Well, rap has climbed all over the charts like kudzu, and some of pop music's most creative work is being done within this genre.
Take the righteous debut of this Long Island crew, who collide sounds together with slapstick glee. "Change the Style" is a loony tune that bounces from R&B to reggae to love ballad to metal, while other experiments include the straight-no-chaser funk of "Bang (Get Down, Get Down)!" Bazerk is one tough orator, rapping the way Otis Redding sang: with palpable passion. Adding texture are backup rappers-singers Daddy Rawe, Cassandra, Almighty Jahwell and, for comic relief, Sandman. Together they allude to soul giants from James Brown to the Jackson 5. Public Enemy producers Hank and Keith Shocklee provide dense musical foundation.
Some naysayers still claim rap's range is too limited. Let them check out Son of Bazerk. (Soul/MCA)