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Rebel MC - EP

Rebel MC

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Album Review

Before Michael West began recording on his own as Rebel MC, he was half of the Cockney rap duo Double Trouble; afterwards, he went on to become a prime mover in the development of London's jungle movement of the early to mid-'90s. As Rebel MC, he made two not terribly distinguished albums of music that seemed to lack definition; this was the first of them. Where some artists intentionally borrow from multiple dance music genres and make a virtue of eclecticism, on Rebel Music Rebel MC just sounds confused, unable to decide whether he wants to stick with house music, reggae, or hip-hop. He tries to resolve the confusion in part by recycling previously successful songs, such as Double Trouble's hit "Street Tuff" (offered here in a remixed version), and in part by recycling tunes from within the album itself ("Better World" is presented in no fewer than three different mixes). Most of the material is rhythmically and melodically pedestrian, though the scintillating "Cockney Rhythm" and a nice funky reggae remix of "Better World" both stand out. This one's worth keeping an eye out for in the bargain bins, but not necessarily something you should make a concerted effort to acquire.

Biography

Born: 1965 in London, England

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '80s, '90s

The '80s popster turned proto-jungle revolutionary was born Michael West in 1965 in London. He formed Double Trouble in the early '80s with Michael Menson and Leigh Guest, releasing the ska-pop hit "Street Tuff." Rebel MC later gained fame in England as a pop-rapper, but by 1991 he had released Black Meaning Good, an album that presaged jungle with hardcore techno married to dub basslines and ragga toasters such as Barrington Levy and P.P. Arnold. His 1992 singles "Rich Ah Getting Richer" and "Humanity"...
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