BLACK SHEEP | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Black Sheep, the Queens-based duo of Dres and Mista Lawnge, was the least-known group in the Native Tongues crew, but a party still isn't a party in America until the DJ drops "The Choice Is Yours"--something you can't say about any song in the Jungle Brothers catalog. Black Sheep's 1991 debut, A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, is a seminal work of conscious hip-hop, but after their 1994 follow-up, Non-Fiction, sold poorly they faded into obscurity. Since then they've worked on solo projects and made the occasional guest appearance and recorded the 1999 album The Tragedy of Almost, which is still unreleased. Last year they announced a comeback, and earlier this year they released a mix CD of new and old material, as well as 8WM/Novakane (Bumrush), an online-only studio album. The production is decidedly contemporary, but the humor that was their hallmark is absent; Dres is still on point, but he's rapping about realness and heartbreak now. Mista Lawnge (now Mr. Long) left to pursue a solo career during the making of the album, leaving Dres to keep the flame alive, joined by Jungle Brothers DJ Sammy B. They open for Naughty by Nature and Digital Underground here. a 9 PM, Congress Theater, 2135 N. Milwaukee, 312-559-1212, $25-$55, 18+.

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