Skip to main content
Loading...

Featured Post

Game Of Thrones Season 8 - End Game With Sinhala Subtitles

Flipboard

Flipboard

Black Thought - Streams of Thought, Vol. 1 Music Album Reviews

Black Thought - Streams of Thought, Vol. 1 Music Album Reviews


After 30 years fronting the Roots, Black Thought has finally put out his first solo EP. It is rigorous but rarely hermetic, a small testament to his sustained excellence.
Black Thought’s still-titanic 10-minute Funkmaster Flex freestyle from last December was both astonishing and affirming. It showed that the 46-year-old rapper is somehow still improving decades after his peers’ primes, which in hip-hop sounds almost as crazy as a professional athlete doing the same. Black Thought may seem divorced from the sense of desperation that manifests into these kinds of revelatory performances—he fronts the Roots, the house band of the “The Tonight Show,” and acts in an HBO prestige drama. On the other hand, he doesn’t need to be putting out freestyles to appease an audience he’s already won over in his 30-plus years of rhyming, proving that he’s still “got it.” It’s simply a highlight reel of Black Thought doing what he does.

Streams of Thought, Vol. 1 carries that freestyle’s impressionistic spirit with that knowing audience in mind. Though this is Black Thought’s first solo project (previous would-be debuts Masterpiece Theatre and Danger Mouse collab Dangerous Thoughts were shelved), the EP avoids any Herculean this-is-my-time statements in favor of weaponizing the quiet self-assuredness he’s earned in his decades as the Roots’ vocalist. Co-headliner and producer 9th Wonder mainly strings together a collection of soul loops and falls back, allowing Black Thought to throw down technically wrought, hookless verses. Rigorous but rarely hermetic, the album is a small testament to his sustained excellence.

At 17 minutes—including the two-year-old “Making a Murderer” with the Lox’s Styles P—Streams of Thought, Vol. 1 is a SparkNotes distillation of Black Thought’s abilities. His verses don’t give up easy mantras in the way some of his Philadelphian peers do; he thrills with internal rhymes and flow swaps that manage to fold years of experience and culture references into crisp narratives. You could argue that Things Fall Apart’s creative breakthrough was thanks to how the Roots finally matched the spontaneity of Black Thought’s prose.

No matter, Streams of Thought’s opener “Twofifteen” features this marginless narration in full force. The way he moves through flipping an idiom off his late grandfather’s wisdom when “burning man was blacks in Birmingham,” and a reference to Ntozake Shange’s play For Colored Girls... carries a one-shot fluidity, like Alejandro Iñárritu remaking Do the Right Thing. Black Thought’s taste for classic literature reappears on “Dostoyevsky,” which takes his wanderlust to another extreme. He declares himself “Dostoyevsky meets Joe Pesci” before connecting the line to that “machete from the Serengeti, already,” then bending together the other syllables throughout the verse.

Perhaps Streams of Thought would’ve been better if it was just Black Thought rapping; although they acquit themselves well, Styles P and Rapsody feel like intermissions. Still, there’s an elder statesman ease trailing his voice that feels familial, and the two fellow rhymers indulge the low-stakes exercise. Black Thought leaves Rapsody enough breathing room on “Dostoyevsky” to throw in an adroit verse and the line “I ain't turn star boy in a weekend,” while on “Making a Murderer,” Styles P works himself out of the “We all got fucked but no pornos” clunker with a verse that carries the verve of someone willing to write until the pen runs dry. They both come across as game as an NBA player in a blacktop pickup match.

Streams of Thought’s closer “Thank You” suggests that all of Black Thought’s rhyming clinics are not just works of hunger, but also acts of gratitude. His continued relevance in a fickle industry, not to mention Tariq Trotter’s escape from the physical dangers of Philadelphia, is both a testament to his work ethic and divine favor. Over a sample of D’Angelo’s “The Charade,” he soulfully gives praise for his wife’s mercy, links lynched bodies to fleeing from cops (“Images of strange fruits hangin' from the trees/Laces on my gym shoes, skatin' from police”), and memorializes the “barbershop that used to be at 6th and Emily.” After Black Thought utters his last thank you, the project abruptly ends.

View the original article here

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

Dell XPS 13 9380 (2019) Review

Dell's flagship laptop returns to us in 2019 with refreshed specs, a brand new webcam design and a cheaper model. We review the XPS 13 9380 in full.
Should I Buy The Dell XPS 13 (2019)?
The XPS 13 for 2019 ticks all the boxes. It looks great, the build quality is excellent, it’s nice and portable and has a wide range of specs to choose from.
While not a massive upgrade from last year's model, it’s had some solid refinement including getting the webcam back into the top bezel and also introduces a more affordable Core i3 edition.

Samsung Galaxy S9 vs Samsung Galaxy S10e

Samsung's Galaxy S range has been updated and here we compare the S10e - the new 'lite' model - to last years' Galaxy S9 to help you decide which phone is best for you.
Should I Buy The Samsung Galaxy S10e Or Samsung Galaxy S9?
The S10e could be the sleeper hit of this year. It doesn’t have the embedded fingerprint sensor of the S10 and S10 Plus or their triple cameras, but it comes with the same processors, new screen design, ultra-wide camera, and all in a compact and comfortable format with a smaller price-tag.
That being said, the S9 is still an excellent device, and its new, lower price makes it a definite bargain.

Huawei P30 Pro Release Date, Price & Specs Rumours

Huawei's MWC press conference didn't include an announcement of the P30 range. Instead, it will hold a launch event in Paris at the end of March. We round up rumours, speculation and more on the new Huawei line-up, including the expected P30 release date, price and specifications.

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review: Hands-on

The Galaxy A30 might be one of Samsung's best phones at an affordable price yet. Find out why in our hands-on review.
Should I Buy The Samsung Galaxy A30?
There are still details to iron out and features to road test in the real world, but the Galaxy A30 could be a great phone for anyone wanting a nice Samsung without spending too much.
This could be up there with the excellent Moto G7.

Huawei Mate 20 X Review

The Huawei Mate 20 X is an obscenely large smartphone but it has many of the features of the Mate 20 Pro for less. Here’s our full review of the huge premium slab
Should I Buy The Huawei Mate 20 X?
With a bigger screen, bigger battery and smaller notch than the Mate 20 Pro, the Huawei Mate 20 X also has the same camera set up and adds a headphone jack. If you want the most screen possible, it might be for you. 
You lose the curved display, wireless charging, full water resistance and secure Face ID but for many that won’t matter if a huge display, outstanding camera and great performance are top of your list. If you want a normal size phone, get the Mate 20 Pro.

Like Fan Page