In an effort to engender enough good will for eternal devotion (no rapture), Mello Music Group are giving away yU’s stellar Before Taxes for free all week. Named the 32nd best album of last year by an obscure website, Aaron Matthews hailed it as “one of the strongest 90s hip hop albums of the aughties…built upon carefully selected samples and smart songs which link hip-hop to Native American culture (“Native”) and family life (“Memory”, “The Rock”). The mournful horns and thumping drums of “Corners” complement yU’s back and forth with EyeQ, a song that could have come out on Wild Pitch in ’93.

yU is a thoughtful, honest writer with a molasses-thick D.C. accent that manhandles syllables and pitches bars like fast balls. He finds strength in contemplation, from wishing life could slow down on “Break Down” to deconstructing society’s deceptions over a metronomic guitar sample on “Brainwash”. The record is a purposeful throwback, but it works because Y understands what made 1990s hip hop great — highly recommended even if you didn’t own a pair of Zubaz.” See also, Aaron’s interview last year with the 78er. And download the album because it’s very good and free, and subtly psychedelic in all the right ways.

ZIP: yU-Before Taxes (Left-Click)

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