Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

  • He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper [Jive, 1988] B-
  • And in This Corner . . . [Jive, 1989] B+
  • Greatest Hits [Jive, 1998] **

Consumer Guide Reviews:

He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper [Jive, 1988]
From Fabian and Chubby Checker to Cosby and this crew, Philadelphia has always produced too many unthreatening teen dreams--it's enough to make you stop worrying and love Schoolly-D. Though I grant the Fresh Prince's acting ability and find myself touched when he tells the crowd he's 17, he makes the mistake of coming on smug in a genre whose staple is confidence. In life, maybe the wheedle is more socially advanced than the demand; in art, it's a turnoff. B-

And in This Corner . . . [Jive, 1989]
The Prince is already planning for life after rap. Will settle for standup, but wants his own series. Does creditable Richard Pryor-style impressions--rev, grandma, barber, wino. Writes good situations, too--"Who Stole My Car?," "I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson," "The Men of Your Dreams." Then there's the gold digger (calls her a '49er, a new one on me), and the cannibal yarn no white artist would dare anymore. B+

Greatest Hits [Jive, 1998]
The antigangsta, as only a master of light comedy could render him ("Summertime," "Lovely Daze"). **