Tha People Want Bass

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Florida-style bass music never received much respect from hip-hoppers who lived in Northeastern cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. As they saw it, bass was a lowest-common-denominator approach to rap. But all over the South, the Midwest, and the West Coast, bass was huge in the late '80s and '90s. Even though bass might have been a dirty word in the inner-city neighborhoods of North Philly and the Boogie Down Bronx, it was synonymous with commercial success in most parts of the U.S. -- which is why Dallas residents Nemesis tried to cash in on bass' popularity with album titles like Munchies for Your Bass and Tha People Want Bass. For the most part, Tha People Want Bass isn't true bass; however, this album's hardcore rap incorporates elements of bass as well as West-Coast rap. The CD's most Florida-sounding track is the hyper "Drop tha Bottom," which wouldn't have been out of place on an Afro-Rican album. Although uneven, Tha People Want Bass has its assets. The beats are infectious more often than not, and Nemesis' R-rated, sexually exploitive rhymes are entertaining for those who have a taste for off-color lyrics. Not surprisingly, there were those who questioned the group's motives -- when MCs start out providing conscious raps à la Brand Nubian only to end up exploiting sex, some people are bound to call them sellouts. Regardless, Tha People Want Bass is generally entertaining -- unless, of course, listeners find sexploitive lyrics offensive. Tha People Want Bass isn't Nemesis' best album -- that honor goes to 1991's Munchies for Your Bass. But while this CD isn't a masterpiece, it has more strengths than weaknesses.

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