WHO: P.M. Dawn THE CASE AGAINST: Beaded, bespectacled Afro-bohos who took De La Soul’s urban-hippie aesthetic to its ridiculous, gimmicky conclusion. Not only did 1994’s Fear of a Black Hat hilariously parody the duo, but old-school hip-hop vet KRS-One once hurled lead vocalist-rapper Prince Be off the stage at his own show at a New York nightclub – just for being corny. THE TRUTH: Beat-downs are beside the point. P.M. Dawn’s sampling Spandau Ballet’s ”True” as the base for their infectious 1991 hit single, ”Set Adrift on Memory Bliss,” was a soft stroke of commercial genius on a parallel with Puffy’s mo’ money, mo’ pop-rap ambitions. And while Prince Be was never as good an MC as, well, anyone, his egoless spoken-word ramblings refreshingly sidestepped typical hip-hop bluster and thus predated the introspective indie phenomenon critics are currently calling emo-rap. LISTEN 2: The debut, Of the Heart, of the Soul, and of the Cross: The Utopian Experience (1991).
Posted January 17 2015 — 4:48 AM EST
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