Kid 'n Play's Funhouse

Kid 'N Play

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Kid 'n Play's Funhouse Review

by Steve Huey

Named after the duo's single from their hit film House Party, Kid 'n Play's Funhouse has more of the genial dance-rap that made Kid 'n Play's debut album a platinum-selling hit. This time out, the production is fuller and funkier, and the raps are correspondingly more ambitious in terms of tempo and flow -- particularly Kid's, which makes sense since he was essentially the focal point. The lyrics are still chiefly about their partnership, their love of rap, and their love of dancing, but there's a distinct battle-MC tone present as well, which seems to indicate that the duo hopes to be taken more seriously as a mature hip-hop act. Individually, both rappers broaden their images based on the characters they played in House Party -- Kid the reluctant star, Play the ladies' man -- yet they're still wholesome at bottom. Their viewpoint crystallizes in "Back to Basics," a lament about hip-hop culture losing its innocent sense of fun and turning violent; it's a more self-aware stance that acknowledges their place in the spectrum. There's also an entertaining guest spot from Salt-n-Pepa on the Play-centered track "I Don't Know," in which Play comes out on the winning end of a love triangle. If Kid 'n Play's Funhouse doesn't have quite the same youthful charm as 2 Hype, it's nonetheless a worthy successor that finds the duo progressing.

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