Busdriver, 'Jhelli Beam' (Anti-)

Critical Mass
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by Mosi Reeves

Poor Busdriver. If, as he claims, "underground hip-hop happened ten years ago," then who will understand Jhelli Beam's sharp-elbowed riddles? Rapping quicker than Twista, he views Los Angeles as "handfuls of sky" beset by "gentrified fiefdoms." Producers Daedelus, Nosaj Thing, and Nobody supply him with glitchy, arrhythmic beats while he self-deprecatingly tags himself "Scoliosis Jones" and "Your Least Favorite Rapper" with "a haircut like a pineapple." Extraordinarily irrational and willfully convoluted, Jhelli Beam is avant-rap as quantum physics. Hopefully, his choir gets it.

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