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Bad Apples Far From the Tree

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Salt Lake City’s Bad Apples are class clowns and student body president; big players with discerning minds who are just as quick to flirt with senoritas as they are to decry U.S. foreign policy. “So what if people die just as long as you get paid?” they shout over samples of President Bush waxing idiotic. “If you’re not pissed off, then you’re not paying attention.”

Which isn’t to suggest Far From the Tree is the next Fear of Black Planet or even Evil Empire. Bad Apples come across as natural-born activists. They’d likely rather brainstorm practical jokes than exit strategies, but not even wiseguys can comfortably ignore the state of our messed up world. So they throw in a biting rant against ineptitude among the traditional face-offs with sucker emcees and narratives about cuties at the club, as on the Latin-flavored “Menudo.”

For the most part, a cutting sense of humor underlies Tree’s 14 tracks, at times bordering on absurd. “Mini Men,” a send-up of 50 Cent’s “Many Men,” follows the ups and downs of male midgets (“Pygmies always take my bike away”), which is either hilarious or completely offensive, depending on your commitment to the PC movement. In fact, the entire album is brilliant or juvenile, with the quartet’s rhymesayers dropping all-too familiar euphemisms for their junk and how they plan to use it, or how tough they are, etc.

You’d be hard-pressed, however, to deny Bad Apples’ lyrical skill—no matter the content. They rarely, if ever, stumble over samples that more often than not take a back seat to tight vocal interplay. Impressive, and catchy as hell if you go with the flow. MySpace.com/BadApplesKrew

Check out Bad Apples live on Jan. 21 at Kilby Court (741 S. 330 West). For more Utah hip-hop action, see the adjacent article and plan to attend the City Weekly SLAMMys kick-off showcase featuring Linus, Numbs and Mindstate on Jan. 11 at Monk’s, 19 E. 200 South, 10 p.m.

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