B.A.

B.A. Sports 2/This is Not Mik Jones

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The subtitle of B.A.'s third solo album tweaks obsessive name-dropper Mike Jones, but this hardcore rapper doesn't waste much time in dissing others in his lyrics. B.A. Sports 2/This Is Not Mik Jones is strictly by the book, with the usual gangsta themes and imagery showing up repeatedly: pimps, hos, guns, that sort of thing. The settings for these raps are equally familiar beats and synths, with occasional feints toward Kanye West-style portentous, thundering piano chords, as on the opening "Hard." At some point, gangsta rap apparently moved from being the poetry of the streets to a kind of pre-packaged lifestyle music no more threatening than the Jimmy Buffet and Bonnie Raitt albums suburban-hedonist baby boomers play in their minivans. This is that sort of album.

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