Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Rapsody: Eve [Jamla/Roc Nation, 2019]
Because excessive solemnity is woke music's cardinal sin, I wish "Serena" came up earlier than track six, because by then I was craving a hook I couldn't get enough of, plus this one is lifted from Miami's Dr. Luke, of censored, sexist "Me So Horny" renown. It's so reassuring to hear this staunchly political North Carolinian 36-year-old embrace those particular Southern roots, helping me relish as well as admire her tireless rhyming: "Tommy Boy" to "tomboy," "mothership" to "other shit," "anime" to "Anna Mae" (Bullock, look it up), and it don't stop. With every track named after a black heroine--the part of Eighteenth Dynasty pharaoh Hatshepsut is played by who other than Queen Latifah--Rapsody keeps the knowledge coming. Representing for the brothers is who else but J. Cole. And for that Marianne Williamson touch here's L.A. "self-love" advocate Reyna Biddy. A-