Chill Rob G.

Ride the Rhythm

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Ride the Rhythm doesn't look like other rap records from the early '90s -- in fact it looks sort of like a techno-pop record. The title rides along in a heavily stylized font across the bottom while in the foreground an image of a city-steppin' Chill Rob G presides as cool as his name, which hangs above riddled with bullet holes; meanwhile, in the background an op-art pattern dominates to the right of Chill, while cops and street-prestige symbols of cars and women compete on the left. The dichotomy is puzzling but understandable. Chill Rob G is a tough East Coast rapper, but the song he's best known for is an international pop hit, "The Power," by Snap! Granted Chill was only sampled by the Europop group but, perhaps in an attempt to grab some of the cash, he covers Snap!'s version of "The Power" on Ride the Rhythm. Even though the song would sound perfectly normal on one of Snap!'s albums, here it nearly derails an otherwise solid album. The other songs represent classic early-'90s chopped-funk production, courtesy of Flavor Unit producer the 45 King. The pinnacle of their collaboration is the classic "Let the Words Flow," which manages to maintain its bulldog stance and be danceable at the same time. And that is the attempt of the rest of Ride the Rhythm as well, only in the hands of Chill it sounds more like a command than an invitation.

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