The Egyptian Lover

One Track Mind

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When the Egyptian Lover's second album, One Track Mind, came out in 1986, gangsta rap had yet to become huge. Ice-T's Rhyme Pays and N.W.A's N.W.A. & the Posse -- two landmarks in West Coast gangsta rap -- didn't come out until 1987, and East Coast hip-hoppers still associated Southern California with the electro-hop style that the Egyptian Lover is best known for. Anyone who expects to find hardcore rap on One Track Mind is bound to be disappointed; this LP isn't for rap purists. But those who appreciated his first album, On the Nile, will find this to be a respectable, if imperfect, sophomore effort. Egyptian's influences remain the same; the quirky rapper/producer still combines his appreciation of Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock," Prince, Man Parrish, and Kraftwerk with elements of North African music and Egyptian imagery. It's a strange mixture -- Egyptian inhabits a place in which rap, Prince's Minneapolis sound, European synth pop, and North African music come together. But it's a mixture that works well on infectious electro-hop jams like "Livin' on the Nile," the single "Freak-A-Holic," and "A Stranger Place (The Alezby Inn)," which bears a bit of a resemblance to Prince's "Erotic City." As the title One Track Mind indicates, the Egyptian Lover shares Prince's love of all things erotic. But this LP is never X-rated; the lyrics are suggestive rather than explicit, which is why some of the tunes on One Track Mind had urban radio potential. Egyptian, however, was never a superstar, although he did enjoy an enthusiastic cult following. While One Track Mind isn't as essential as On the Nile, it's a likable release that fans of the electro-hop sound will enjoy.

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