Intelligent Hoodlum

  • Intelligent Hoodlum
  • The Intelligent Hoodlum (A&M) 1990 

On the best moments of his debut album, the Intelligent Hoodlum (aka Tragedy aka Percy Chapman) raps passionately about the lousy state of the world. Backed by hard, unadorned beats from ace producer Marley Marl, he leads a furious chant against racism in “No Justice, No Peace” and bristles with righteous anger on “Black and Proud.” He still sounds like a kid, which gives even venomous diatribes like “Arrest the President” an appealing fresh edge. Elsewhere, though the man resorts to predictable bragging and party-down topics, the aggressive tracks continue to crackle.

[Jon Young]