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POP MUSIC : *1/2; DA BRAT, "Funkdafied" ( Chaos/Columbia )

July 10, 1994|HEIDI SIEGMUND

Although Da Brat (Chicago's Shawntae Harris) claims to be representing Chi-town, the young rapper seems to have confused her address. Distinctively West Coast grooves make up the bulk of the music.

An appropriate subtitle to Da Brat's debut album could be "The Ghost of 'The Chronic.' " Obviously, "Funkdafied" pales in comparison to Dr. Dre's brilliant debut album, and the overt attempt to echo Dre's smooth sound and Snoop Doggy Dogg's equally smooth delivery makes the album ring even more hollow.

Atlanta-based producer Jermaine Dupri, who also produced Kris Kross and Xscape, weighs the album waaaaaaay down with his music mix, which includes copies of passages from some of rap's biggest sellers. The best example is the title track, which is merely Dre's "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" redux. Between the album's borrowed beats and one too many borrowed popular phrases, "Funkdafied" is less a tribute than a flagrant pilfering of some of rap's finest moments.

As a rapper, Da Brat offers nothing new. Unfortunately, giving people an album that sounds like what they like seems to be her only objective.

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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