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Cover Art Kid Rock
Devil Without A Cause
[Top Dog/Lava/Atlantic]
Rating: 1.3

Kid Rock is a rapper from the Detroit area who's been doing his thing and running his own Top Dog record label since the late '80s. He was pretty obscure until Grand Royal profiled him a couple of issues back, and he eventually wrote some blurbs for Mike D. and the gang for their notorious "Miami Bass" issue. His association with the Beasties must have done wonders for his career, because here he is in '98 making his major label debut.

I gave this record bonus points for having a photograph of the Kid's hand giving the world the finger painted on the disc itself. Something about the way Kid Rock flips the bird is endearing-- it's hard to explain. I bumped the record up a few more notches for the track featuring the diminutive Joe C. (he's less than four feet tall) on the mic. There's some sort of perverse thrill in hearing a guy who makes Bushwick Bill look like Manute Bol rap "I'm a freak, don't call me sick/ three- foot nine with a ten- foot dick."

So that's two rounds of bonus points and the album still doesn't merit a 2. The hook is that Devil Without A Cause combines rap with metal, but this combination's already been done a million times, and in each case, the result was better than this. Do you really need predictable pimping rhymes over wack-ass metal beats with third- tier, grunge- derived choruses among your records? I ask you: is this what you're missing from your life?

-Mark Richard-San



10.0: Indispensable, classic
9.5-9.9: Spectacular
9.0-9.4: Amazing
8.5-8.9: Exceptional; will likely rank among writer's top ten albums of the year
8.0-8.4: Very good
7.5-7.9: Above average; enjoyable
7.0-7.4: Not brilliant, but nice enough
6.0-6.9: Has its moments, but isn't strong
5.0-5.9: Mediocre; not good, but not awful
4.0-4.9: Just below average; bad outweighs good by just a little bit
3.0-3.9: Definitely below average, but a few redeeming qualities
2.0-2.9: Heard worse, but still pretty bad
1.0-1.9: Awful; not a single pleasant track
0.0-0.9: Breaks new ground for terrible

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