Black Milk, Popular Demand (Fat Beats, 2007)
Black Milk is a young rapper/producer out of Detroit hoping to follow in the footsteps of local legends like Proof and J Dilla. Will he be the next to blow? At the very least, I'd say he's not gonna have much trouble competing with either of those two. (*tentative rimshot*)
Learn more about him at his MySpace profile.
The main reference point here is J Dilla, but this one actually reminds me more of Kanye West. Like if that shit he did with Alicia Keys was an actual rap song.
SOUND THE ALARM
Much more in the vein of something Dilla might do. In fact, this sounds just like something on Fantastic Vol. 2, but it's been ages since I've heard it so who knows.
Like the last one, actually, but more stripped down so as to shift to emphasis to Black Milk's rappin', which is again Dilla-esque with all that entails.
One thing I thought was a nice touch is that a lot of these songs are in the 2-3 minute range. The whole thing only runs about 48 min. and makes for a nice listen compared some of these rap albums.
One for the ladies. I'm pretty sure I've heard this vocal sample before elsewhere.
SHUT IT DOWN
The same thing goes with this one actually, though it could be the case that all sped-up vocal samples on rap records are beginning to sound the same at this point.
Black Milk purposely cops Luda's flow from (I think) "Southern Hospitality" to do a little shit talking of his own.
The piano figure in the verses calls to mind vintage, '93 era Wu, and I notice he quotes a bit from "Shame on a Nigga" during the chorus. You wish more producers these days would indulge their RZA influence.
PLAY THE KEYS
Milk briefly flexes his "banging on a piano to a hip-hop beat" skills.
The weed carrier track? Actually, about half of these tracks feature guest vocalists, and most of them aren't particuarly notable members of the hip-hop community.
THREE + SUM
A possible James Frey moment, in which Milk describes a recent three-way he experienced and claims to have on tape. I'll believe that when I see it. Nullus.
In the booklet, this is listed as featuring "Slum Village & Baatin." Roffle.
One of these Pete Rock-style beat interludes.
Kind of a take-off on Nas' "One Mic," with a pretty slammin' beat.
A mostly instrumental outro.
TAKE IT THERE
A bonus track with Fat Beats label mate One Be Lo, formerly of Binary Star. But it's not that good.
COMMENTS: Never mind that El-P album. Black Milk's Popular Demand is the rap album of the year so far. It's like a modern day Stunts, Blunts and Hip-Hop, but with somewhat better rappin' (admittedly no huge feat, but still). Even if you don't normally mess around with a lot of J Dilla/Slim Village-style hip-hop, I'd recommend checking this out. If you do, then obviously this is a no brainer.
BEST TRACKS: "Popular Demand" "Say Something" "Three + Sum"
BONUS VIDEO: "Sound the Alarm"