Picks and Pans Review: Attitude: a Hip-Hop Rapsody

updated 11/26/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/26/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Shazzy

Rappers, don't look back. There's a female posse gaining on you fast. And with her first album, Shazzy (nee Sherry Marsh) moves right to the front of all the lady rappers who have recently stepped out.

She's not afraid to address serious subjects. "The Way It Is" is a dirty-laundry list of the harsh realities faced by the urban underclass. "Black Is a Nation" deals with racial oppression and "Ode II a Dead Man" with drug addiction.

Shazzy has her lighter moments too, offering dance tips on "Keep It Flowin' " and exercising the rapper's prerogative to boast on "Here Endz the Conquest." On "I'll Talk," she limbers up her tongue for a display of speed rapping. Cute references to everyone from the Beatles to the Pointer Sisters give the record a solid musical foundation. Shazzy, who comes from the venerable rap-spawning neighborhood of Hollis in the New York City borough of Queens, has a crisply metered tough-girl diction with just a hint of sibilance.

Gentlemen, we may still hold a slight edge in basketball, but when it comes to shooting their mouths off, the ladies are quickly gaining parity. (Elektra)

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