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Black Milk Album Of The Year Fat Beats • 2010

Give the drummer some, because 2010 is definitely the year of the drums! After Hi-Tek’s ingenious drum patterns on the Reflection Eternal album and Questlove’s incredible drum sessions on The Roots’ 'How I Got Over', the former half of BR Gunna couldn’t stay behind. With -the ambiguous entitled- 'The Album Of The Year', Curtis Cross’s first solo release in two years, this Detroit MC/producer really exposes his talent for isolating, moulding and shaping drums into his songs. Crispy clean production with still an organic feel to it, this release is a showcase of why he is close to being the legitimate heir to the throne of the late great James Yancey.

Black Milk is a producer first and foremost. Although he raps mostly solo –with only a few guest rhymes- the greatest lyricist tracks on this effort are with invitees. 'Black and Brown' for instance, with a steady Danny Brown, and 'Deadly Medley' with Detroit habitués Royce the 5’ 9” and Elzhi, stand-out tracks that add lyrical value to the record. At the other hand it must be said that Black Milk’s getting better with the pen with each album. His rappin is much more versatile than his monotonous flow on 'Sound Of The City Vol 1', putting more effort in his rhyme schemes and vocabulary, and manages to put emotions into heart-felt and expressive lyrics.

'Distortion' –with a great wah-wah guitar and bugged-out drum patterns- for instance where he talks about the losses of Dilla ('My nigga dying on his hospital bed, he laying there, I hope that he hang in there, they say he might not make it, they don't even care, don't even know people consider him as a pioneer') and Baatin. On a sunnier note is 'Oh Girl', Cross demonstrates his aptitude for rhythm and assonance. 'His say, her say, midnight, her place, clubbin' with your girls celebrate like it's your birthday, party all night cause tomorrow's not a work day'.

Drums please! 'Album Of The Year' equals stunning, consistent and lively production. Hi-Tek and Questlove have Talib Kweli and Black Thought, but all in all MC Milk manages. Or can he form a group with Elzhi and Danny Brown?

POSTED ON 09|27|2010 by cpf

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