Life of a Kid in the Ghetto contains a pair of message-oriented singles that sounded like classics in 1991. Neither one peaked inside the Top 50 of Billboard's R&B/hip-hop chart, but they did get a little exposure on Yo! MTV Raps and on some of the more adventurous black radio stations. Had they been released a few years later, they wouldn't have stood any kind of chance. "I Got to Have It" touches upon a number of issues (black-on-black crime, drug abuse, inattentive parents), but it's easy to lose in Awesome 2's easygoing, Bohannon-sampling production work. "Be a Father to Your Child," one of sharpest message songs released within any genre, is eternally relevant and replayable, thanks to Ed's plainspoken rhymes and a loping groove assisted by the Roy Ayers Ubiquity's "Searching." Beyond those two songs, there's not quite enough hot material to warrant classic album status, but there's plenty to recommend it. The album is almost evenly split between the addressing topical matters (the agitated but humor-laced "Dedicated to the Right Wingers," the powerful "Speak Upon It") and clowning around ("Bug-A-Boo," "Feel Like a Nut"), and unlike a lot of groups who specialized in one approach but not the other, Ed O.G & da Bulldogs are adept at both.