What’s the skinny?



Peanuts and Corn

Release date: April 15, 2003 (out now)

What the label says: “This 14-track record has mcenroe at his very best – sharp, witty lyricism over the finest production, with a little bit of singing, guitar playing, organ, keys, bass and much more thrown in the mix.”

What this reviewer says: Canadian producer/rapper extraordinaire mcenroe (no capitals) turns in the best hip-hop album of the year with his straight-forward flow and lyrics that cover subjects ranging from high school fistfights to the greed of multi-million-dollar conglomerates to fake rappers. Hip-hop perfection.

Similar artists: fermented reptile, Park-like Setting

Sample lyrics: “You took it all with a keen sense of urgency/ I offered you my soul but my soul is not currency/ You tried to take my voice but I can defend too/ I vote with my wallet and it’s always against you/ I think the public’s had enough of your lies” – “Disenfranchised”

Best song: “Can’t Get There From Here”

Worst song: None

Rating: 10/10

Darryl Worley

Have You Forgotten?


Release date: April 15, 2003 (out now)

What the label says: “If anybody is in touch with heartland America, it’s Daryl Worley.”

What this reviewer says: Worley cranked out four new songs, threw them together with 12 old ones from his two previous albums, and presto, a new “album.” This album is a shameless attempt to capitalize on the current conflict with Iraq, from the title track right down to the “Patton”-esque album cover with good ol’ boy Daryl posing in front of the American flag. He even rhymes “forgotten” with “Bin Laden”. USA! USA!

Similar artists: Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw

Sample lyrics: “They took all the footage off my T.V./ Said it’s too disturbing for you and me/ It’ll just breed anger that’s what the experts say/ If it was up to me I’d show it everyday/ Some say this country’s just out looking for a fight/ After 9/11 man I’d say that’s right” – “Have You Forgotten?”

Best song: “I Need a Breather”

Worst song: “Have You Forgotten?”

Rating: 2/10

Jessy Moss

Street Knuckles


Release date: July 15, 2003

What the label says: “The songs on “Street Knuckles” are frequently structured around hip-hop verses and sung choruses … Shit happens, and it’s happened to her, but that’s not the point.”

What this reviewer says: When the Australian-born Moss raps, she shows brilliance and originality. When she sings, she comes off like a lame Macy Gray knockoff. However, this album is impressive and is definitely worth a listen.

Similar artists: Tricky, Ms. Dynamite, Macy Gray

Sample lyrics: “I understand the complexities of being alive/ Got two characters living in one mind/ The battle’s on but I wouldn’t have it any other way/ ‘Cuz if a man don’t got to struggle everyday makes him shallow as fuck”- “I’m the Baddest”

Best song: “Chapters”

Worst song: “I’ll Manage”

Rating: 7/10


A Beautiful World

Nu America/ Interscope

Release date: April 15, 2003 (out now)

What the label says: “Take some Marvin Gaye falsetto, Jim Morrison psychedelia, a pinch of Stevie Wonder, the rock to the hip-hop of the Beastie Boys and a little Latin salsa, and you have an idea of the conversion of musical cultures that comprise A Beautiful World.

What this reviewer says: Wow. I mean, it’s the spawn of Alan Thicke. That’s really all I have to say.

Similar artists: Justin Timberlake, Jamiroquai, Corey Feldman and the Truth Movement

Sample lyrics: “Sometimes you read like William Shakes/ Your scent is sweet like Betty Crocker bakes/ I’d like to have your cake and eat it too” – “The Stupid Things”

Best song: “Make A Baby”

Worst song: “She’s Gangsta”

Rating: 1/10