So crushing was the DreSnoop power play in 1993 that their G thang all but obliterated the competition. Any hardcore rap save the loping-beat West Coast kind got sidelined. But only temporarily. In 1994, southeast Houston's Scarface, for one, bounced back fighting. A full-blooded member of the Geto Boys (a true PMRC nightmare and one of the first crews to toss word bombs so explosive as to alienate all but their faithful), Scarface kicks unrepentantly on this third solo set and still effectively. Classical piano punctuates the tracks, but it's the only thing pretty on The Diary. An update of the Geto Boys' 1991 breakthrough, "Mind Playin' Tricks 94," "Hand of the Dead Body" (a rap with Ice Cube) and "The White Sheet" are notes from underground that ring terrifyingly and all too true.
Milder, but not by much, is the debut from Method Man. Moonlighting from the Wu-Tang Clan, this summer's hottest rappers, MM shares their scratchy, low-tech street sound (check the title tune's woozy bass, a novel counterpoint to rap's usual booming bottom). He's also capable, with "All I Need," of something almost resembling a love song. Getting his female backups, Blue Raspberry, to nasty up Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" ("Release Yo' Delf") is likewise sharp. But it is with its heaviest numbers "What the Blood Clot" and "P.L.O. Style" that Tical delivers the primo goods. (RS 698/699)
(Posted: Dec 29, 1994)
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