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DM & Jemini 

Ghetto Pop Life

Wednesday, Oct 1 2003
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The DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -- Fourth Edition), the bible of psychiatric disorders, describes multiple personality disorder as "the presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states that recurrently take control of behavior." It goes on to say that "Particular identities may emerge in specific circumstances and may differ in reported age and gender, vocabulary, general knowledge, or predominant affect." Most MPD patients lead a difficult life, with separate personalities in constant conflict. But what if the different mind-states could get along? What if they could rap together and form a hip hop group? Well, Jemini the Gifted One and his multiple personalities have done just that.

On Ghetto Pop Life, the veteran Brooklyn rapper bounces between an anxious, high-voiced persona and a laid-back, deep-voiced, smooth-tongued character; occasionally there are even appearances by a buttery, Nate Dogg­style crooner. Spouting inventive lyrics, the voices are carried by the funky, soulful beats of producing prodigy DM, aka Danger Mouse. On their first single, "Take Care of Business," Jemini's personalities go line for line: "From a borough that's known to spit," raps one Jemini, "From a borough that's known to click," answers the other; "And get into it," says the high voice, "And get intimate," counters the low one. When Jemini's voices go at each other like this it sounds as if there are at least two or three MCs flexing their distinctive styles.

From the operatic intro of the title track to the player's tale of woe in "I'ma DooMee" to the lowrider anthem "What You Sittin' On?" featuring Tha Liks, Jemini and Danger Mouse create a nonstop party that all your personalities are invited to. On "The Only One," Jemini sums it up: "I came to set it, break it down in phonetics/ Dip it in egg whites and bread it/ And serve it up hot when I'm up in your spot/ Like a tasty tasty treat I'm in the place to be/ Jemini and D-A-N-G-E-R-M-O-U-S-E." There's no cure for multiple personality disorder; therapy and drugs may be somewhat helpful, but chances are Jemini will always have his little friends. Thank God for that.

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Anna Klafter

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