July 8, 2014


First it was Nasty Nas, now watch Evan Nabavian turn an apple into MacIntosh

I notice when I hit shuffle that little of the rap music I listen to features rappers who can actually rap. There’s a surfeit of style, bluster, charisma, and swagger, but few dazzling constructions of wordplay. I have no right to complain because I just proclaimed trap rap the genre’s saving grace, but I still appreciate rappers whose motherfucking brains are IBM compatible.

As is often the case, a much needed palate cleanser comes from Detroit. Goose, Quelle Chris, Cavalier (don’t sleep), and Big Tone dropped “Suppertime” whose rhymes boast a fidelity, precision, and density that rewards multiple listens. Tone in particular is so intricate that you want to diagram his rhymes on a whiteboard.

But this isn’t a pedantic Blackalicious lyrical exercise at the Paid Dues festival — or worse, a Slaughterhouse track. To brand “Suppertime” as an answer to wack MCs is reductive. Rather, the crew grapples with earthly concerns amid UFO sirens and a drum pattern you’ve never heard before. Scenes of a grotto with pina coladas and plainclothes angels with St. Ides on their breath speak to the experiences of not-so-young men waylaid on their way to wealth. One day, I’ll tell my kids that this is what “substance” sounded like.

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