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Four Tet - Live at Alexandra Palace London, 8th and 9th May 2019 Music Album Reviews

Kieran Hebden’s new live album reminds us that he is a stellar performer, not just a producer.
The British producer Kieran Hebden has one of the most distinctive signatures in electronic music. First, a gravelly drum machine; then, some jewel-toned synth pads; and, finally, a strip of harp or chimes or wordless cooing, unspooling like wrinkled ribbon.

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Queen Key - Eat My Pussy Again Music Album Reviews

On the sequel to last year’s Eat My Pussy, the Chicago rapper’s songwriting is at times more brazen and at others more introspective.

Queen Key is not about subtleties. Last year, when the Chicago rapper born Ke’Asha McClure released her bold and brash mixtape Eat My Pussy, the title alone caught plenty of attention. It was an exhibition of Key’s raw talent, particularly her knack for party-rap hooks and her star-making sense of humor. The premise for its follow-up is simple. “You ate my pussy once. It was good… so eat it again,” Key told a “Vice Live” interviewer, beaming as she explained her latest choice of title. Her new album, Eat My Pussy Again, is a clear progression of Key’s songwriting, at times more brazen and at others more introspective.


Key’s prime asset, and the main way she gets jokes off, is her deadpan delivery. Her idea of a punchline is to casually point out, “I don’t like people/I smack niggas,” in a laidback and assured drawl, as if she’d hit the recording booth after smoking a blunt or two. She may not be a rapid-fire spitter like Megan Thee Stallion or as outrageously raunchy as CupcakKe, but Key’s superpower is to inject the most unbothered energy into the fewest possible words. On “Ratchett,” she raps, “I got cash on flash/If he ask, I don’t have it/Nigga tragic,” releasing the last word with the withering disdain of someone who’s just shared a screenshot of your private texts to the group chat.

Key is at her best when she’s riding a hard beat. Eat My Pussy Again’s standout tracks are modeled off current trends in Texas rap, where songs like 10k.Caash’s “Aloha” or Megan’s “Sex Talk” are constructed of monstrous bass, claps, and not much else. In January, a questionably authorized version of “Ratchett” appeared with the bass cranked all the way up, sounding like a distorted fart from a shitty car speaker. Mistake or not, the crunchy, unprofessional production worked with the song’s hook (“Make these hoes get ratchet”), and the idea of turning a “bass-boosted” edit into a studio version suited Key’s brash humor. The first “Ratchett” was scraped from the internet, presumably to make room for the newly mixed album version, where you can actually hear Key’s ridiculous punchlines (“Got head from a nerd, I knock off that nigga glasses”). But if Eat My Pussy Again has a failing, it’s that it tries to present a polished version of Key, who thrives when she’s uninhibited.

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Still, Eat My Pussy Again proves Key isn’t only a party girl. On “I Like Me Better” and “Ms. Understood,” she rattles off anxieties about her rising popularity and distrust of others over jazzy, lyrical beats, more Mick Jenkins than Chief Keef. “My heart telling me that this is all where it begins/So don’t lose myself becoming one those who lose and win,” she cautions. “Misunderstood, but it’s all good,” she chants on the hook, as though convincing herself that she’s going to be OK. While her commitment to keeping it 100 usually manifests as comedy, “I Like Me Better” explores the idea earnestly, revealing that it’s part of her larger goal for self-improvement. “I like me better when I listen/I like me better when I learn,” she raps. When she’s rowdy and audacious, Queen Key is exhilarating. But her jokey swagger and hard persona is almost like a setup for the true pay-off: when Key bares her heart.


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