In the late 1980s and early '90s, New Yorkers ranging from Boogie Down Productions to Heavy D were combining rap with dancehall reggae. Another key player in this rap/reggae experimentation was Shinehead, who keeps things very positive and uplifting on his sophomore effort The Real Rock. However, much of the CD isn't reggae-influenced, and the East Coast resident wisely avoids being predicable. Ranging from such fun, lighthearted material as "World of the Video Game" and "Musical Madness" to the more serious messages of "Family Affair" (which draws on the Sly Stone classic and stresses the importance of a cohesive family unit), the anti-smoking tune "Cigarette Breath" and the spiritual title song, The Real Rock was one of the best rap releases of 1990. It's unfortunate that Shinehead's popularity was so short-lived.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson