Black Milk, 'Album of the Year' (Fat Beats)

Album of the Year
Critical Mass
Label: Fat Beats

by Mosi Reeves

Black Milk has one of the liveliest production styles in hip-hop, mixing instrumental funk with loose, chopped beats reminiscent of J Dilla. On his fourth full-length, he keeps the focus rhythmic, layering percussive jams like "Distortion" and "Keep Going" with crashing cymbals and pounding bass drums. The crisp arrangements often overshadow his stiff, stentorian delivery, but he still manages to convey moments of both personal loss-the death of mentor/Slum Village rapper Baatin-and professional triumph.

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