Speech Emerges From Ashes of Arrested Development

Maybe we were too busy sniffin' glue or somethin', but we

missed the part where the innovative rap group Arrested Development broke up.

The group's leader, Speech, says in a statement released to the press: "We

never looked at each other and said, 'let's break up,' it just happened over a

period of time..." Anyway, point is that Speech, the group's engaging lead

rapper/songwriter, is back with a solo album (natch) due out Jan. 23. The 15

track album, titled simply Speech includes the same mix of social

commentary, upfront politics, street poetry and heartfelt optimism that won

fans over when Arrested Development's debut, 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days In

The Life Of..., was released in 1992. Speech produced the album in Atlanta,

where Vagabond Productions, his multi-cultural production company, is based.

Songs on the album include: "ask somebody who ain't (if U think the system's

workin'...), "let's be hippies," "ghetto sex," and the first single, "like

Marvin Gaye said (what's going on)." Vagabond has been promoting concerts

featuring alternative black artists like Digable Planets, The Pharcyde, Ben

Harper and the Roots during the past three