Skip to main content
Loading...

Featured Post

Air Fryer Sausage Balls

Air Fryer Sausage Balls are a perfect make-ahead breakfast that takes just a few minutes to cook in the Air Fryer. Mix up the Sausage Balls and store them uncooked in the freezer until you’re ready to cook them.

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

Oppo RX17 Pro Review

Though similar to the OnePlus 6T the Oppo RX17 Pro is very different thanks to the software. Here’s our full review
Should I Buy The Oppo RX17 Pro?
The RX17 Pro is a great looking phone with good performance and a lush display. But with a Snapdragon 710 rather than the better 845 it’s just impossible not to compare it to the OnePlus 6T which looks the same, has better software for the western market and, importantly, costs less.
If you like the look of Oppo’s interface though then there’s a lot to like. The two colour options are premium as is the build quality and the cameras are above average if not great.

2019 Lincoln Continental Review

If you’re tired of the same old luxury options, the 2019 Lincoln Continental provides a refreshingly retro-cool alternative.
The 2019 Lincoln Continental is a big, luxurious American sedan at a time when Americans are hardly buying big, luxurious American sedans anymore. Regardless, it’s a throwback ride with plenty of character, great value, lots of power, and a classic nameplate. We give it 7.5 out of 10 overall.
Among European and Japanese rivals with established models – S-Class, 7 Series, LS – this Lincoln stands out for several reasons, chief among them its nameplate. With the Continental, Lincoln has one of the most storied American car names.

Moto Z4 Play Release Date, Price & Spec Rumours

We investigate rumours surrounding the Moto Z4 Play, which could be announced in June 2019 with an in-display fingerprint sensor.
Announced in June 2018, the Moto Z3 Play was never joined in the UK by the standard Moto Z3. It's possible that for the Z4 series we will again see only the Play model go on sale here, with the Moto Z4 Play expected to be announced in the UK in mid-2019.

Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac Review

You probably know Synology for making NAS drives but the firm has also turned its hand to mesh networks. Here we review the MR2200ac.
Should I Buy The Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac?
Synology could do a little more to explain the many features of the MR2200ac for first-time users, but the strong performance of this mesh system, and the fine-control provided by its web browser interface make it a good option for business users or home users who have a little more experience of networking technology.

Best kids' Tablets 2019

If you want to buy your child a tablet, here are the best and the most affordable out there to ensure they get the most suitable tablet for their age By Simon Jary | 02 Jan 2019

Like Fan Page