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July 04, 1993|DENNIS ROMERO


"Which Doobie U B?"


* * 1/2

The Soul Assassins--an informal hip-hop family that includes Funkdoobiest, Cypress Hill and Irish-American rappers House of Pain--is a motley crew that has brought credibility and transcendence to non-black rap.

Funkdoobiest--a Latino rap crew except for Tomahawk Funk, who's Native American--carries the torch with universally appealing doo-wop loops and thick acoustic-style bass lines in this debut album. But there's a downside: uninspired rhyming, an overkill of clever similes and overdone pot references. And Funkdoobiest's whiny, nasal vocal style has been done before--albeit by progenitor Cypress Hill.

Also their gimmicks are getting in the way. So what if they smoke plenty of marijuana? Cypress Hill smoked enough for everybody last year. And what's the big deal about Son Doobie (alias the Porno King) being obsessed with the Triple-X theater? We've got three words for him--2 Live Crew.

Despite some inviting musical tracks, Funkdoobiest's drone of dissin' and tireless display of bravado dampens its debut.

New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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