By James Bernard
Updated November 15, 1991 at 05:00 AM EST

When Prince Be — the lyricist of this team of newly popular New Jersey hip-hoppers — says that their music is not rap, he overstates his case. Far from abandoning rap, P.M. Dawn help to take it in new directions. They combine the starry-eyed mysticism of Jimi Hendrix (”I’d like to welcome you to a utopian experience,” Prince Be says in the introduction) and the childlike spirituality of Prince (”I’d like to say ‘what’s up’ to God”) — without the brooding sexuality of these musical elders. Sounds incredibly dippy, huh? Well, like Hendrix and Prince, Prince Be and his brother (as in sibling), DJ Minutemix, are so heartfelt that they never fall into the sticky-sweet pit of sappiness. Light on percussion and heavy on melodic, visionary lyrics, the 12 tracks on Of the Heart are crammed with offbeat touches: a sprinkle of piano, a conga, a sea gull’s call. P.M. Dawn point toward a new world for rap, in which full and lush sounds are heard next to the stark and harder style of today. A