Danger Mouse & Jemini

Ghetto Pop Life (Lex Records)

Jun 23, 2004 at 4:00 am
When DJ Danger Mouse and Brooklyn MC Jemini released Ghetto Pop Life in October 2003, only those in the know -- or in the United Kingdom -- really caught on. But once Danger Mouse dropped The Grey Album -- a remix of Jay-Z's The Black Album using sounds and samples from the Beatles' White Album -- his name raced through the industry. After that, it would have been dimwitted for Lex Records not to rerelease Ghetto Pop Life.

Musically, Danger Mouse's production is reminiscent of DJ Shadow's sound on Entroducing, but it's a little less cluttered. Danger's skills at crate-digging for obscure samples and using known and unknown breakbeats are displayed well on "The Only One," "Here We Go Again" and the title track, but Jemini's lyrical skills are solid, at best, and really nothing to celebrate. Most of the time he's outshone by Danger, as well as by some of the other MCs featured here, including Tha Liks, J-Zone, the Pharcyde and Prince Po. As previous solo efforts prove, Jemini can hold his own; he just doesn't seem too comfortable here. This album is all Danger's show.