Danger Mouse and Jemini
Ghetto Pop Life

By Masta G

 
It's hard for me not to like a hip hop producer who’s named after my favourite childhood superhero. Danger Mouse’s inventive and daring selection of samples and heavy funk production make it even harder. Refusing to take himself too seriously, DM incorporates everything from choral church music (with the most brilliant piss-takey lines you'll ever hear in an ecclesiastical setting) to snippets of ol’ dirty bastard. Luckily, in jemini he’s found an MC whose smooth flow and lyrical inventiveness sit sweetly over his beats and samples. But does the American rapper (whose career seems to have been resurrected by this LP) realise that accompanying Danger Mouse makes him Penfold, however convincing he is in his ‘flow from the brain to the paper to the wax’? Collaborations with J-Zone, heavy weights The Alkaholiks and hip hop luminaries The Pharcyde all add extra flavour, but mostly go to show just what a talented lyricist Jemini is.

DM and Penfold/Jemini even find time to critique the American right’s disturbing vision of a new world order. They suggest (in much the same gung ho terms which we’ve become used to hearing from the Americans in the past few months) that ‘Bush boy’s ready to roll’ and ominously remind us that he’s ‘got his finger on the button’. But the pair are not interested in dry sermons – they manage to infuse their more politicised material with the same warmth and humour as the rest of the album.

The combination of infectious guitar licks (Omega Supreme), heavy funk dancefloor killers (The Only One), amusing skits and the inspired artwork with gold embossed finish (bling!) on the sleeve make this Lex release one of the most satisfying and complete hip hop records I’ve come across for a long time.
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