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Stik Figa

Stik Figa As Himself

(From the Top Music; US: 17 Apr 2012; UK: Import)

Topeka rapper threatens to make hip-hop fun again.

Hey, remember when rappers actually sounded like people you wanted to hang out with—Tone-Loc, KRS-One, De La Soul, Digable Planets—rather than people you’d be better off running away from? Stik Figa remembers. Hailing from hip-hop mecca Topeka, Kansas, SF lays down some memorably funky grooves on his debut, Stik Figa As Himself. The opening salvo features bouncing basslines and plenty of soulful keys to go with Stik’s rapidfire, self-deprecating delivery, delivered with casual aplomb. “The Skinny”, “Corner Store” and “Class of 2000” are all delightful tunes (when was the last time you heard that word used to describe a hip-hop joint?) that will get your head bobbing. “Absitively” isn’t half as clever as it wants to be, but it’s fun anyhow. The bad news is the album’s back half, which flags alarmingly as rap-by-numbers kicks in and the funk lights out for the territories. For a while, though, hip-hop threatens to be fun again.

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DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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