Da Family

Cosmic Slop Shop

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Da Family Review

by Alex Henderson

In 1988, producer/songwriter James Mtume generated some controversy with his stand against excessive sampling in hip-hop. Rap group Stetsasonic responded by attacking Mtume and defending sampling on "Talkin' All That Jazz," and others accused him of having an anti-rap attitude. But Mtume insisted that he wasn't against rap -- he simply felt that too much sampling wasn't healthy for black music. And when Mtume launched his MCA-distributed Mtume Music Group label ten years later, it turned out that its first release was a rap album: Da Family. Cosmic Slop Shop took its name from Funkadelic's 1973 classic "Cosmic Slop," and George Clinton's influence is noticeable on such cuts as "Twizms," "Butterscotch," and "My World," although the group isn't as consistently Clinton-esque as Digital Underground. Based in the Bay Area, the hardcore rappers originally came from the South; but their rapid-fire tongue twisters have a lot more in common with Spice 1 and Brotha Lynch Hung than the "booty music" that southern MCs were known for. While some of the lyrics are fairly clever, and some of the melodic tracks are infectious, the main problem with Da Family is the bigoted lyrics that pop up here and there. Gays and lesbians are called "faggots and dykes," while white women are labeled "bony-ass White bimbos." Insulting gays, lesbians and white females isn't about "keeping it real" -- it's about being divisive and hateful.

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