If you’re keeping track of the James Blake rap collaborations, his union with Chance the Rapper is superior to his one with RZA. But the RZA told me earlier today in an interview that “the world has the power to make it bong bong for everyone.” I was feeling sick and now I am healed, so until Chance has that power, the Abbot still reigns supreme.
The one similarity is that they both rap as though staying on-beat was a recommended but not required part of hip-hop. Which it sort is, but sort of isn’t. Which is sort of how I feel about this song. Part of it works because the beat is cool and James Blake is vaguely like the new D’ Angelo for white girls with degrees in the social sciences. But it also kind of feels like a awkward collaboration between a gifted spoken word poet and a piano man at a London piano bar by night, vegan restaurant by day. That is to say, you probably won’t be jamming this as much as his collaboration with Nosaj Thing, but it’s an interesting experiment. I hope there are more of these wanderings between them.