Dm & Jemeni Ghetto Pop Life

Discerning heads may remember Jemini the Gifted One as a multiple personality rhymer from the mid-’90s. Well, the self-proclaimed "Funk Soul Sensation” has returned from virtual obscurity and it’s like he never left. Known for flexing polar opposite styles that alternate between high and low pitches, it’s the upper register that steals the show here. "Omega Supreme (Who?!)” and "The Only One” reaffirm his status as someone who was "born to MC.” The beats on these tracks and the entire album are provided by DJ Dangermouse, making for a potent MC/DJ collaboration. Dangermouse’s beats are gritty yet irreverent, thinking nothing of meshing a choir spouting tongue-in-cheek gangsta lyrics next to dusty beats. Seemingly drawing inspiration from the Prince Paul canon, Dangermouse tempers the quirkiness with a studied appreciation of making heads nod. While the cameos by the Pharcyde and Prince Po formerly of the legendary Organized Konfusion are surprisingly underwhelming, Jemeni seems to have more fun collaborating with himself. He employs his multiple-personality style on the humorous "Don’t Do Drugs.” But he gets serious on "Bush Boys” flatly rejecting the New World Order and "Here We Go Again” where he adopts a sombre critical tone to "see the world through the eyes of the disenfranchised.” The duo assuredly navigate these moods and topics with casual aplomb, making Ghetto Pop Life an assured and completely unexpected success. (Lex)