Public Enemy - "He Got Game" Soundtrack 
Music Disc Reviews Audio CD
Written by Jason Karsh   
Tuesday, 28 April 1998

He Got Game,
Def Jam
| Performance 7 | Sound 8 |

As he did with Prince and his film 'Girl 6,' Spike Lee has given Public Enemy almost complete control of music for his latest film, 'He Got Game.' Sadly, where the film benefits from this, this album suffers. Public Enemy have always been one step ahead of the rap world and have never cowered from taking on any number of topics on their past albums; however the reason those albums have tended to succeed with such radiance precisely because they weren't locked into a single cause. And, even though almost every song on this album is tight, the way 'Game' puts on the blinders and turns both barrels on basketball tends to tire. Especially when each song seems to pale in the face of such an exceptional title track.

This is not to say that this topic isn't worthy of critique. A look at America's blind myopia and strong desire to slate sports as inner-city savior is long overdue. Still, this album seems to provide the reason why 'Fight The Power' (from Spike Lee's 'Do The Right Thing') was so successful. It was one anthem, for one topic. 'Game' is not. Therefore, our advice is to treat 'He Got Game' as one long Public Enemy EP, something to tide you over until 'There's A Poison Goin' On' drops sometime in the fall. Otherwise the only game you may find yourself courting could be precious other than disappointment.

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