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3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of by Arrested Development

3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of by Arrested Development

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With their feel-good humanism, uniquely rural perspective, and melodic blend of funk and rap, Arrested Development seemed like the next big thing in 1992. The group hailed from Atlanta, which was not the capital of hip-hop and R&B, and this, their debut recording, won the Village Voice's Pazz & Jop critics poll. Speech, the primary lyricist, wrote and delivered eloquent attacks on gangsta rap's mindless nihilism: the band's first hit, "Tennessee," spoke of reclaiming Southern black traditions from the racism that sullied their memory, while their second, "People every day," deftly updated the Sly Stone classic. Although Speech's rapping style was not distinctive, Dionne Farris's keening vocals highlighted the band's front line. Unfortunately, Speech began to run short of ideas and the band failed to maintain the high standards that this debut set. They disbanded a few years later. --Martin Johnson


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