With Mobb Deep and Illegal at one end of the spectrum (the more authentically streetwise one), Kris Kross and Chi-Ali on the (more commercially savvy) other, and Leaders of the New School occupying the eccentric, artistic center, the early '90s did not want for teenaged rap artists. Philadelphia's Da Youngsta's was yet another trio of underage MCs who made a brief but fairly impressive splash on the hip-hop scene. Impressive enough, in fact, to draw the attention of some of the genre's major personalities. The Aftermath leans toward the street side of the divide, but has some of the artistic heft of L.O.N.S., mostly as a result of the production work of a quartet of heavyweights: the Beatnuts, Pete Rock, Marley Marl, and DJ Premier. Unlike the clear legitimacy that was immediately bestowed by the community upon Mobb Deep's Prodigy and Havoc, however, it is not always easy to take the relentlessly hardcore stance of Da Youngsta's seriously. First, though, it is somewhat superficial as a reason, the voice of at least one of the group's members was still stuck in puberty hell at the time the album was recorded. It is cartoonish, in a decidedly sinister way, to hear such a voice making physical threats and lyrical boasts. Secondly, Lawrence "L.G." Goodman, who oversees the proceedings (and comes up with some strong beats of his own), just happens to be father to two-thirds of the crew (the third member was a cousin). The fact that Da Youngsta's, in reality, were not exactly callous street urchins takes some of the wind and conviction out of their more menacing rhetoric. Those failings aside, the album still has a bevy of platinum moments, especially the Beatnuts track "Wild Child," Pete Rock's "Iz U Wit Me" and "Who's the Mic Wrecka," Premier's "Wake Em Up," and Goodman's own "Count It Off."
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AllMusic Review by Stanton Swihart