Album Review: Eusebe Tales from Mama's Yard EMI 7243-8-34792-2- 1

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The Independent Culture
Brit-rap has traditionally foundered on its inauthenticity: in a genre that makes claims on reflecting the true realities of the black experience, blatant misappropriations of American "gangsta" schtick sound all the more hollow and insincere applied to the more parochial British environs.

Eusebe realise this: Tales from Mama's Yard has its roots firmly in Harlesden, and aims to reflect the north-west London experience. So while there is room aplenty for denunciations of routine police harassment ("P.O.L.I.C.E.") and the pervasive racial hypocrisy of the UK ("Smell Dat"), the album doesn't rely on the devil's litany of gats and Glocks and threats for its impact, so much as on everyday stuff like the delights of fried chicken ("True 2 Da Bone") and the problem of friends who won't leave till five in the morning ("Da Blockas").

More to the point, the trio's gender split - brother, sister, female cousin - ensures the more risible of macho attitudes are kept well in check: "Captain of Love", for instance, makes mildly amusing comparison between the amorous exploits of vinyl lurve-men and their fleshly counterparts. The general impression is of a non-agrarian, black cockney Arrested Development, running commonsensical rhymes over infectious sample-grooves drawn from Seventies soul/ funk sources, notably Marvin Gaye. Bulging with good humour and believable down-home attitude, Tales from Mama's Yard brings a welcome brightness of spirit to a moribund genre.