Jungle Brothers

J. Beez Wit the Remedy

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Willfully difficult, ceaselessly sarcastic and playful, the Jungle Brothers had more talent than virtually all of their contemporaries in alternative rap, but often squandered it taking detours that did little to endear them to hip-hop fans. Four long years after their Native Tongues family had emerged with the success of De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising, the Jungle Brothers finally returned with their third record. Expectations were very high, from fans and their label (Warner Bros.), but if the JBs didn't exactly bring the remedy with this one, they still featured an obtuse playfulness sorely lacking in hip-hop. Mike Gee and Baby Bam didn't have as much to say as A Tribe Called Quest or even De La Soul; most of the songs here are loved-up sex raps or weed fantasies, and the group deliberately blurs the lines between the two, getting dangerously close to objectifying a woman on "Spark a New Flame," but speaking lovingly of marijuana on "I'm in Love With Indica." The chorus on the hilariously titled satire "My Jimmy Weighs a Ton" (a clear Public Enemy reference) skates back and forth between a sweet diva and a hardcore jam. The productions, virtually all of them by the Jungle Brothers alone, are freewheeling and unpredictable, but vary in quality from intriguing to downright misguided.

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