Armond White
May 03, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Coolin' at the Playground

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
Producers
Motown Records
genre
Hip-Hop/Rap

We gave it a D

It’s a double-edged pun but deserved: Another Bad Creation’s Coolin’ at the Playground is crackerjack pop. It’s a big hit, but the chugging rhythm tracks these six hip-hop tykes use to pace their little-boy love raps sound like nothing more than a rattling box of nuts and candied corn. Other kids may like the way ABC (whose ages range from 8 to 12) sing about subjects beyond their years, but grown-up listeners should hear something else — a celebration of bratty excess, hyperactivity, and bad manners. The group’s current single, ”Playground,” describes the world as if it were one. By doing that, they diminish the analysis of black community problems more serious rappers offer, by suggesting that inner-city stress is no more than a childish game. D

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