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The Real Rock

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Album Review

In the late 1980s and early '90s, New Yorkers ranging from Boogie Down Productions to Heavy D were combining rap with dancehall reggae. Another key player in this rap/reggae experimentation was Shinehead, who keeps things very positive and uplifting on his sophomore effort The Real Rock. However, much of the CD isn't reggae-influenced, and the East Coast resident wisely avoids being predicable. Ranging from such fun, lighthearted material as "World of the Video Game" and "Musical Madness" to the more serious messages of "Family Affair" (which draws on the Sly Stone classic and stresses the importance of a cohesive family unit), the anti-smoking tune "Cigarette Breath" and the spiritual title song, The Real Rock was one of the best rap releases of 1990. It's unfortunate that Shinehead's popularity was so short-lived.


Born: 10 April 1962 in Kent, England

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The fact that Shinehead split his time growing up between Jamaica and America was reflected in his recordings; the Kent, England-born vocalist (born Edmund Carl Aiken) released several albums between the late '80s and early '90s that blended dancehall and ragga with hip-hop. Whether Shinehead was toasting or crooning or flat-out rapping, he always balanced his material between the positive and socially conscious with more lighthearted sentiments. He got involved with music by performing at New York...
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The Real Rock, Shinehead
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