February

Badbadnotgood ft. Ghostface Killah//Sour Soul

Badbadnotgood’s big shift into true rap pays off in one of the most unique, beguiling releases in years, accompanied by at-times disappointingly rote rhymes from Ghostface Killah. With their jazz influenced reworkings of rap and hip-hop tunes from Tyler, the Creator to Kanye West attracting all kinds of admiration, and collabs with the likes of Earl Sweatshirt proving their production chops at the real thing, it was only a matter of time before Badbadnotgood tried their hand at some original material. A blessing then that no compromises are made. The uniquely jazz sound is still there, and makes for a backdrop that is infinitesimally more compelling than what should be the foreground. Exceptions from some of the collaborators, most notably Danny Brown, means that the frustration of the lyricism lacking the same invention and character is a minor one; if anything, it merely stimulates the sense of promise for a bold new sound in rap. These are beats from off the beaten track, and few others can hold a candle to them.

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