Monie Love

Down to Earth

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Few British rappers have enjoyed much recognition among American hip-hop audiences. Perhaps the British MC who has received the most attention in the U.S. is the highly talented Monie Love, whose Down to Earth is one of the few British rap efforts released by a major label. With Earth, she managed to convert some American hip-hoppers while maintaining the strong respect she enjoyed in British rap circles. If a comparison to Love's American counterparts is needed, she has more in common with Queen Latifah than MC Lyte -- Love is aggressive and outspoken, but not quite as hard as Lyte. There are some definite classics here, including "It's a Shame (My Sister)" and the wildly infectious "Monie in the Middle." But like so many American rappers, Love spends too much time boasting and not enough time telling meaningful stories. Nonetheless, her strong and interesting technique and her overall musicality make this album enjoyable, though not outstanding.

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