David Browne
June 21, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Derelicts of Dialect

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

We gave it a B

For white boys, 3rd Bass sure know how to play that funky music. On Derelicts of Dialect, the follow-up to their 1989 platinum debut, MC Serch and Prime Minister Pete Nice rough up their words and toss off rap slang with natural ease. Unlike white rappers like Vanilla Ice and the Beastie Boys, they don’t treat rap as a gimmick, and they take hard stands against watered-down pop-rap, white supremacists, and record-labeling censorship (”Before Hitler killed Jews, he started with art”). It helps that DJ Richie Rich can work a turntable hard and that, with the help of coproducers like Prince Paul of De La Soul fame, he skillfully blends in unexpected bits from the likes of Peter Gabriel and even Simon & Garfunkel. Derelicts is saddled with too much between-song filler, and too many tracks end with thanks to other rappers. But when Serch and Nice toss off a funny line like ”We’d use the F-word, but Ice Cube got the copyright,” you know 3rd Bass’ heart — and beat — is in the right place.

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