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TONE-LOC (Buy CDs by this artist)
Loc-ed After Dark (Delicious Vinyl/Island) 1989

Never underestimate the power of a solid left hook or the importance of a good corner man: the nagging guitar figures in "Wild Thing" (sampled from Eddie Van Halen) and "Funky Cold Medina" (both co-written by Marvin Young, aka Young MC) helped make the unmistakable hoarse voice of LA's likable Tone-Loc (Tony Smith) a radio staple in 1989 and Loc-ed After Dark the second rap album (after the Beastie Boys) to top the pop charts. The LP has both of the hits (including an unexpurgated "Wild Thing"), an ode to pot ("Cheeba Cheeba") and more of the same lighthearted party fun, all delivered with Loc's engaging good humor.

[Ira Robbins]