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POP MUSIC | POP EYE

January 18, 1998|Dave Jennings, from London

CRIMINAL ELEMENT: Trip-hop star Tricky is working on a criminal record--"record" in the music sense. Bringing a twist to the concept of gangsta rap, he's been recording spoken reminiscences by some of Britain's most notorious reformed gangsters and setting them to music for an upcoming side-project album titled "Product of the Environment."

Among those participating are two men who worked for the '60s London crime bosses the Kray twins and "Mad" Frankie Fraser, who was known for performing unorthodox dentistry on adversaries--with pliers.

Tricky also brought in a recording veteran--former train robber Ronnie Briggs, who was heard on a Sex Pistols project some 20 years ago. But to make sure these crimes don't pay, Tricky has arranged that all proceeds from the album, which will be released by DreamWorks Records, will go toward setting up a new network of boys clubs in Britain.

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