Spin - 12/92, p.67Ranked #2
in Spin's list of the 20 Best Albums Of The Year - "...true '90s pop anthems--socially progressive and roots-conscious..."
Spin - 6/92, p.69
Highly Recommended - "...a heartland hip hop sound that successfully incorporates both grass-roots folk and hard, urban funk...reveals a hip hop agenda never heretofore so coherently arranged..."
Entertainment Weekly - 1/7/93, p.123Ranked #2
in Entertainment Weekly's list of the Top 10 Albums Of 1992 - "...anyone who made even the mighty Public Enemy seem old hat--which Arrested Development did, easily--was clearly onto something..."
Entertainment Weekly - 5/22/92, p.74
"...a fresh-sounding debut album... The band's beats actually sound joyful...Arrested Development is perhaps rap's most self-reflective act..." - Rating: A+
Q - 1/93, p.70
Included in Q's list of the 50 Best Albums Of 1992.
Q - 7/92, p.893 Stars
- Good - "...Led by a newspaper columnist, they offer a critical overview of both black and white...When it all comes together, as on the joyfully funky self-help chant of "Give A Man A Fish," they're definitely on the right road..."
Village Voice (3/2/93, p.5) - Ranked #1
in the Village Voice's list of the 40 Best Albums Of 1992.
Stereo Review (1/93, p.81) - "...the most inventive rap album of 1992...leaves you feeling that the problems facing America can be solved with conviction and a right-minded spirit..."
Arrested Development: Speech, Headliner, Aerle Taree, Montsho Eshe, Rasa Don, Baba Oje.
Additional personnel: Dionne Farris, Sister Paulette, Cinque (vocals); Brother Larry (guitar); Larry Jackson (saxophone); Ramsey Lewis (keyboards).
Personnel: Dionne Farris, Sister Paulette, Terrance Cinque Mason (vocals); Brother Larry (guitar); Larry Jackson (saxophone).
Audio Mixer: Speech.
Recording information: Bosstown Studios; Trax 32; Twenty-Five Sixty Studios; UWM Studios.
Photographer: Jeffrey Henson Scales.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Montsho Eshe; Rasha Don; Aerle Taree; Don Rasa; Headliner; Speech; Baba Oje.
Arranger: Arrested Development.
Hip-hop found itself at a crossroads in the early '90s. Its pop dominance was now unquestioned, but in order to progress, the genre needed a stylistic and cultural alternative to the shoot-em-up nihilism and vacuous balladry which threatened to stunt its growth. Enter Arrested Development. With 3 YEARS, 5 MONTHS AND 2 DAYS IN THE LIFE OF..., the group gave hip-hop the intellectual and spiritual shot in the arm which it needed, and in the process, brought the genre to a whole new audience. Turning rap's anger into pride, Arrested Development stressed the beauty and richness of the African and, more specifically, the African-American tradition. Never blindly optimistic, but ever hopeful, 3 YEARS preached self-empowerment and awareness, holding an unflattering mirror up to certain destructive aspects of society.
The album spawned several pop hits, including "Mr. Wendel," a smart, touching portrayal of homelessness. Group leader Speech forgoes the threats and crotch-grabbing so prevalent in rap at the time to espouse positivity and growth in such lessons in humanity as "Tennessee." In the busy, insightful "People Everyday," Speech takes on the narrow-mindedness and violence inherent in his own culture.