Armond White
May 24, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Terminator X & the Valley of the Jeep Beets

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Terminator X
Producers
P.R.O. Division, RAL
genre
Hip-Hop/Rap

We gave it an A-

A solo album by a rap group’s DJ must be just scratches and instrumentals, right? No, Jeep Beets goes beyond that, setting up nervy, exciting grooves for a variety of guest rappers. Terminator X (Norman Rogers), Public Enemy’s DJ, vividly demonstrates the difference between his role in that standard-setting group and the input of its more obvious auteurs, rapper Chuck D and coproducer Hank Shocklee. Unlike rappers, the DJ uses language that’s nonverbal, kinetic, and sometimes even three-dimensional (check out the thumping call-and-response on ”Homey Don’t Play Dat”). Unlike record producers, a DJ makes choices that are cultural, not merely technical. (”Juvenile Delinquintz” sets loose the bad-boy ‘tude of gangster rap in a fractious schoolroom where the bluster sounds more credible and provocative.) The album’s title emphasizes Terminator X’s preference for streetwise beats over political rhetoric. This results in a record more determinedly dance-oriented — and road-ready — than PE’s, while maintaining the same level of heady dazzlement. A-

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