Homebase (1991) This Philadelphia-based rap duo has certainly come a long way since 1988's "Parents Just Don't Understand," the top 20 burst of middle-class, early-adolescent angst that… DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince Hip-Hop/Rap
Music Review

Homebase (1991)

EW's GRADE
B-

Details Lead Performance: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince; Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

This Philadelphia-based rap duo has certainly come a long way since 1988's ''Parents Just Don't Understand,'' the top 20 burst of middle-class, early-adolescent angst that propelled them into the pop universe. Three albums later on Homebase, the Fresh Prince's rhymes are much more complex and interesting than his previous rap-along style, and Jazzy Jeff's musical production is saturated with live choruses (rather than samples) and new-jack-swingish beats. Chalk the growth up to a natural maturation and a not-so-subtle grab at street sophistication. But the album falls short. If this collection won't exactly embarrass the boys in the 'hood, it won't thrill them either — or anyone else for that matter. Except for the absolutely uplifting ''Summertime,'' these tracks roll listlessly under the weight of Jeff's seamless musical direction and the Fresh Prince's cute, but forgettable, storytelling. B-

Originally posted Jul 26, 1991 Published in issue #76 Jul 26, 1991 Order article reprints