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reviews archive: record reviews
... and the DJ cut the record down to the bone ...

I've done a lot of record reviews.

What you see here is all the record reviews I could find. Lots of early materials -- Too Short and Angelique Kidjo for the Daily Trojan leap to mind -- have been lost to the mists of time and the vagueries of 1.4 MB floppy disks. Others -- done on the fly or as a favor for an editor, on a computer at their location -- I never had a copy of. Some I have in hard copy, but have no time to scan them nor type them up.

In any case, here's what I could find. I made quite a reputation for a while as a kind of hired gun. A since-departed editor of The Source once called me and said, "I hate this group, and I figured you would too. Will you destroy their career for me?" An Oakland-based rap group still wants me dead over a review I wrote about their debut album (and I wasn't even that harsh to them). People came to see me as the writer who could scuttle a project horribly.

That's not to say I didn't do complimentary reviews. I like lots of things, contrary to popular opinion, and was happy to say so, supporting the careers or artists I liked. One such review (I believe it was Witchdoctor for The Source, another missing review) got the attention of Jen Schonborn at MTV.com, and started a long string of reviews over there. It was almost always a case of "who you know" in writing, but for once, sheer merit won out, and I loved that.

I stopped mostly because I was making money hand over fist in the dot com craze (yes, I miss those days), and I was coding and designing and working 14 hour days. I had no time to politic with publicists (even ones I really liked, like Red Ant's Janice Margolis or Virgin's Jasmine Vega), so I kind of stopped asking for assignments and the phone started ringing less often. I only miss it when I wish I didn't have to buy a CD I want, for the most part it was just an okay way to make money. I did like the fact I actually helped people make decisions about their purchases, and several readers spontaneously thanked me through emails and chance encounters.

Anyway, enjoy the reviews below, and of course speak up if you have questions, comments or concerns.

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