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The Desolate One

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Album Review

KRS-One is back at the controls and appears uninterested in changing the stark production formula he employed for Kool & Deadly. Of more interest is Just-Ice's rhymes, which have taken on a more detailed and darker worldview — on "Welfare Recipient" he delivers savage ghetto prose of a kind perhaps only the Geto Boys and Ghostface Killah have matched. He's also been listening to Jamaican dancehall records — at the time in New York, there appeared to be a real crossover between the two genres — and he chats in an effective ragamuffin style on "Sleng Teng" and "Na Touch da Just." Not a bad record by any means, but the limitations of Just-Ice's rhyming style and KRS-One's inability to develop his musical soundscape beyond elemental posed real problems for both of them as 1990 dawned and West Coast G-funk was about to sweep all before it.


Born: 22 June 1962 in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '10s

A former bouncer at punk clubs, Joseph Williams, Jr. was the first of the New York rappers to embrace gangsta rap, and when he burst out of Ft. Greene, Brooklyn as Just-Ice, he gained instant notoriety. Muscle-bound, tattooed, aggressive -- he resembled Mike Tyson in more than just looks -- and with a mouthful of gold teeth, he certainly stood out. His debut album Back to the Old School proved he was more than just a pretty face. It came out on the independent New York label Sleeping Bag, and certainly...
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The Desolate One, Just-Ice
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