Music News

The S.P.I.C.S.

Hardcore rap tends toward redundancy because far too many of its practitioners feel that the only way they'll be accepted by their peers, not to mention by fans, is to imitate the subject matter and language of pretty much everyone who's come before them. Fortunately, the S.P.I.C.S. -- the acronym stands for Spanish Poets Invading Colorado Streets -- come from a different cultural background than most gangstas getting airtime. As a result, they're able to tackle familiar topics from a relatively atypical angle.

Joel-C and Cryme Dawg don't skimp on the mayhem, and they aren't immune to misogyny, as "I Love You, But Fuck You" demonstrates. Nevertheless, they bring a distinctive flavor to both nasty tracks ("Spic-ish Attitude") and more thoughtful material ("Individual Philosophiez"). Best of all is "S.P.I.C.S.," a well-produced cut powered by chants of "Chicanos, Mexicanos."

Mental Advisory, which can be downloaded at, isn't a local landmark, but at least it provides a fresh perspective on thug life.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts