15 Songs, 54 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This album boasts some of the most dazzling wordplay ever documented — double-entendres and dizzying similes getting poured atop jazzy breakbeats by a Chi-Town MC that had just started coming into his own. Absent are the fast raps that comprised the-artist-formerly-known-as Common Sense’s 1992 debut. In their place are more laid back, intricate verbal spills that channeled the 22-year-old’s exuberance. Check out “Communism” and ”Watermelon” for champion wordplay. Listen to the final phrase of “I Used to Love H.E.R.” to discover the song’s a metaphor for hip-hop culture. (The lyrically dense gem gained so much attention in the hip-hop community that it sparked a feud with Ice Cube, who misconstrued one line to be a direct dis.) In addition to the nimble rhymes, producer NO I.D. also contributes smooth, funky, easy-to-listen-to beats in the vein of A Tribe Called Quest, whose DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad makes a brief cameo. The result is an album with no filler tracks that you can put on for a carefree head nod, or give it greater attention to uncover layers upon layer of wordplay wizardry. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

This album boasts some of the most dazzling wordplay ever documented — double-entendres and dizzying similes getting poured atop jazzy breakbeats by a Chi-Town MC that had just started coming into his own. Absent are the fast raps that comprised the-artist-formerly-known-as Common Sense’s 1992 debut. In their place are more laid back, intricate verbal spills that channeled the 22-year-old’s exuberance. Check out “Communism” and ”Watermelon” for champion wordplay. Listen to the final phrase of “I Used to Love H.E.R.” to discover the song’s a metaphor for hip-hop culture. (The lyrically dense gem gained so much attention in the hip-hop community that it sparked a feud with Ice Cube, who misconstrued one line to be a direct dis.) In addition to the nimble rhymes, producer NO I.D. also contributes smooth, funky, easy-to-listen-to beats in the vein of A Tribe Called Quest, whose DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad makes a brief cameo. The result is an album with no filler tracks that you can put on for a carefree head nod, or give it greater attention to uncover layers upon layer of wordplay wizardry. 

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