September 11, 2022

Monie Love - In a Word or 2 (1993)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Pop Rap
Label Number: 9 45054-2

© 1993 Warner Bros. Records
After the sparkling debut of Down to Earth, Monie Love's In a Word or 2, arriving three years later in 1993, was hotly anticipated. But despite production and co-writing from Marley Marl, as well as the production contributions of Prince on "Born 2 B.R.E.E.D." and the title track, In a Word or 2 never seems to go anywhere. Love's musical voice and singsong delivery are still in effect, but her raps are decidedly more aggressive, lacking the playful air of her first record. Where Down to Earth was open and honest about its issues, it didn't hit the listener over the head with a giant bat called "FEMINISM." In a Word or 2 doesn't either necessarily; however, its rattling, crashing beats and aggressive delivery become disorienting after only a few songs. "Full Term Love" just isn't the phrase to build a song around, and the low-key soul of "In a Word or 2" is lost in reverb and not strong enough to break up the dissonance of the rest of the material. The jazzy horns and bassline of "4 da Children" make the song another potential strong point, but it's lost at the very end of the album. Most successful is the sunny "Born 2 B.R.E.E.D." ("Build Relationships where Education and Enlightenment Dominate"), with its funky guitar and ascending chorus. It lets Love's mostly engaging delivery shine, unfettered by the clattering beats that dominate the rest of the album. (A "Hip-Hop Mix" of "Born 2 B.R.E.E.D." is included as a bonus at the end of In a Word or 2; it replaces the warm vibe of the original with -- no surprise here -- clattering, shuffling beats.)

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tags: monie love, in a word or 2, 1993, flac,