Group Home

A Tear For The Ghetto

BY Del F. CowiePublished Dec 1, 1999

If there’s any document that verifies the legendary status of DJ Premier, Group Home’s 1995 Livin’ Proof is surely a candidate. Produced entirely by the Gang Starr DJ/producer, it features one of the largest gulfs between beats and lyrics you could probably find. As members of the Gang Starr Foundation, Lil’ Dap and Melachi the Nutcracker’s respective lispy staccato and wild nonsensical presence were painfully embryonic. Perhaps acutely aware of the duo’s shortcomings, Premier laced the duo with arguably his finest crop of beats to date, convincing those who cringed at the lyrics to purchase it. Tellingly, Premier’s sole contribution to this follow-up, “The Legacy,” is head and shoulders above anything else here, but the rest is hardly a write-off. Production from Agallah and the Alchemist among others picks up the slack, providing a low-slung minimalism that connects favourably with Lil’ Dap’s improved flow and lyrics concerning his low budget environment. Melachi’s drastically scaled-down contribution is probably a good thing. His minimal skills haven’t progressed at all in four years. Fortunately, Dap is ably assisted by various minor players. Despite the sloppy sequencing that inexplicably fades out some of the potential standout tracks in the middle of verses, Lil’ Dap favourably emerges out of the shadow of the group’s mentor.

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