On Controversy, Willie Dee realized his dream. The lead-off “Do It Like A G.O,” even in its pre-Rick Rubinized version (which is, without question, one of the great singles of the nineties), is a remarkably tense affair, one which finds Willie Dee’s constant bellow showing a surprising number of shadings given its limited tonal range: at times he’ll sound wounded, then as angry as his words would suggest, and then he’ll sound like he doesn’t mean to do much besides think his way through his obscenity-laden but at bottom unobjectionable thoughts out loud. The second song is called “F..... the KKK” (the cassette copy I’m looking at is charming in its modesty, replacing all but the initial letters of any obscene or objectionable words in song titles with ellipsis: this makes for ellipsis in the titles of five of the album’s twelve songs) and is as moving as any proper protest song I’ve ever heard: who’s even thought of the KKK at all in recent years? Didn’t they all move to Fontana or something? Not according to Willie Dee, who arrives at the song’s chorus with a directness that is both charming and refreshing:

Before I’m on my way today,
I got somethin’ to say to the KKK:
fuck you, bitch!

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