Volume 95, Issue 47

Friday, November 23, 2001
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Tallman: a virtual success

Disc of the Week

Spageddy Eddy's knows pasta

Shits and Giggles

Kravitz wears no ice on his wrists

More like "Matthew Bad Band"

Kravitz wears no ice on his wrists

Jermaine Dupri


So So Def Recordings

Two stars (out of five)

When we last left the saga of Life In 1472, Jermaine Dupri was letting us know, "Bling Bling money ain't a thang."

Since then, it appears nothing has changed.

Apparently, the pimpin' life is still the kind of life we should be living and Dupri's taken it upon himself to let us know that he is. Bitches, Bentleys and cash-money seem to be what he wakes up to every morning and he feels the need to express it in his music.

Unfortunately, he doesn't express it very well.

Although his latest CD, Instructions, drops some phat beats and includes tracks with some of the biggest names in hip-hop – like Ludacris, Nate Dogg, Jagged Edge and Da Brat – it seems that Dupri brought these industry moguls onboard to hide the fact that a CD with him alone would never result in "ice" for his wrists.

If he devoted an entire CD to reminding everyone how hot the ladies are that he and his 14-year-old "buddy" Lil Bow Wow roll with, it would make quite a few stomachs churn and he would be left with no Bentleys and no money. Now wouldn't that be lovely?

The bottom line is Dupris is iced out.

By surrounding himself with some of the best talents, Instructions sits high on Billboard's R&B/Hip Hop Chart and, with tracks like "Ballin' Out of Control" and "Yours & Mine," it isn't going anywhere. He's one of the biggest producers in the hip-hop industry and continues to do well because he knows who and what sells.

Unfortunately, what sells for Dupri is bringing on big names to tell everyone how rich he is and frankly, it's getting pretty tiresome.

–Dave Hudakoc

Lenny Kravitz



One star (out of five)

Despite his many attempts at stealing other songwriters' identities, Lenny Kravitz is not Jimi Hendrix, nor is he Prince.

In fact, his new album, Lenny, has more in common with the candy-laced love schtick of Bryan Adams or The Backstreet Boys than any of his purported idols.

On this new album, Kravitz's polished guitar work and transplanted 1970s sound can be readily found in the riff-laden tracks, "Dig In" and "Pay to Play."

Unfortunately, there is nothing original about either.

"Bank Robber Man" is Kravitz's ridiculous attempt at a song about racial profiling and includes lyrics like, "All units we've got our man/We don't need no reason/You're going to the can/You look like the Bank Robber man." This lyrical tirade could work for Mother Goose, but not for a self-styled soulful poet.

If you enjoy pictures of Lenny semi-clad, looking cocky or acting pensive – buy this album.

But if you expect the innovative blend of funk, 70s lounge rock and soul that Kravitz has been known for in the past – buy his Greatest Hits album instead.

–Chris Lackner

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Copyright The Gazette 2001