Otis Mensah returns with another eviscerating poem, this time spit over the guitar laden “No Record Store Day.” He directs the anxieties of his larger isolation at the cancelation Record Store Day, a day that usually holds a lot of happiness and excitement for Mensah.
The trope of “too many cooks in the kitchen” just doesn’t apply to Phantom Phunk. Through the eccentric instrumentation and mastery of electronic sounds, “A Week Ago” becomes a refreshing funk hit, as unique as the components of the band.
The combined power of the soul sample and gently unraveling poetic yarn of “Reasons” makes it a stand out single. Animist, Jedos and Horus Ra Mindset meld their energies beautifully to drop clever and dynamic verses that float over the production. Poetry in motion.
Milo’s music consistently aims to change perspectives of the listener. His 2017 album Who Told You To Think??!!?!?!?! does this through an attempt to reframe the idea of boredom. In doing so, his greater purpose as an artist is fulfilled.
We often think of poetry as written works with elegance and grace, but every so often a song comes around that reminds us how closely poetry and hip-hop are intwined. Otis Mensah returns with “Internet Cafe,” a jazzy lo-fi record with the elegance of poetry and the gritty soul of hip-hop.
“Running Outta Time” may seem like a song with two identities. Hope and optimism on one hand and the uncertain futures imposed by state violence on the other. For TxTHEWAY, Brian Fender and Black America, it’s two faces of the same coin.
Darkly honest, the ominous poetics of Otis Mensah and Hemlock Ernst creep up on the listener, slithering through the headphones until their hooks are in. The soft instrumental of “Breath of Life” is almost an afterthought, as if drums and brass were summoned by the rappers’ eviscerating flow.
Deep and personal is how Leo Miyagee raps over the fleeting piano keys of “Paro.” The emotional pull of the instrumental builds on Miyagee’s impassioned vocal delivery with a syllable for every key.
Everything we love about the lo-fi goodness of fika and No Spirit is channeled into instrumental funk on the Reggie Got Beats remix of “Better Now” Ft. RickyAtoms. The remix carefully arranges the track’s melancholy message in a brighter, more hopeful focus on the future.
Sharp critique and confident delivery are the defining characteristics of “Outer Riches, Inner Poverty.” Passport Rav throws poetic fire at consumerism and power dynamics over a strong minimalist beat that makes each word something to focus on.