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Pop Music : Spring Album Roundup

March 29, 1992|JONATHAN GOLD

** BOOGIE DOWN PRODUCTIONS "Sex and Violence" Jive

Leading the Stop the Violence movement and debating Harvard professors on the subject of Afrocentricism, Boogie Down's KRS-One has often been called the conscience of hip-hop. In a rap field dominated by glib entertainers and good-time gangstas, his calm brand of moral suasion has been refreshing.

Unfortunately, after a session with the new album, you might feel as if somebody a little nutsy has been yelling at you for an hour nonstop. KRS-One comes across not as an entertainer, but as the self-appointed leader of a nation; the songs more like the collected speeches of Daniel Arap-Moi and less like something you might ever want to bump in your truck. These days, KRS-One is just another guy on a soapbox with no dance floor in sight.

You learn a lot about his opinions on organized religion (he doesn't like it), gangsta rap (a personal insult to him), the media (doesn't cover him enough), underage women (foxy, but ultimately not worth the trouble), and rock 'n' roll (stolen from the black man).

The beats, which seem to get rawer with each album, are so minimal and underproduced here as to be practically nonexistent. The rapping is technically the most hard-core stuff he's done since his influential debut album, "Criminal Minded," but the self-obsessed rhymes seem really paranoid , angry, no fun.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four (excellent).

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