Monday, October 27, 2008

The knock you hear from my apartment

"Boom-bap is a religion. MK is Jesus."


I’ve used this space recently to extol the virtues of Black Milk, so no need for a career retrospective.

This is about his sophomore album, Tronic, which drops tomorrow. It’s the follow-up to Popular Demand, with which Black beat out rather stiff competition in 2007 to win my Album of the Year award.

Popular Demand is probably the best debut hip-hop album since College Dropout; as it goes, when you come out the gate swinging for the fences, your next effort is just destined to be a letdown. While Tronic is very much so not a failure, I can’t say that I’m 100 percent in love with it.

When I saw it hit the net last Thursday night, I almost got into a damn car accident acting like a giddy bitch who just found a bag of coke and lots of money. All plans I had for that evening were put on hold as I hooked the computer up to the stereo and fired that fucker up. My reaction after listening to the first third of the album can best be described as ”…oh.”

You see, I’d already been listening to the album’s first two singles, “The Matrix” and “Losing Out”, pretty consistently. The latter, guest-starring the do-no-wrong Royce Da 5’9”, had just leaked a couple days before and got me amped as the fuck-all for the total project. It was an unpleasant surprise that I found myself wanting to skip blocks of three tracks at a time on Tronic.

Where I normally would have cherry-picked a few of the album’s tracks, put them on a CD-R with some other stuff and moved on, I knew I was dealing with my favorite producer of the new millennium (sorry, ‘Ye), and so I gave Tronic several consecutive listens. I pretty much spent all last Friday listening to the album, from the train to the office and back home again.

And wouldn’t you know – that bastard started growing on me like scabies. I spent the afternoon bouncing texts about it back and forth with my man Joey over at Straight Bangin, and I think we had aligned reactions to the record. I gave some tracks a more discriminate listen and reached the point where with some of the shit I gave the cliff face to on Thursday, I was rocking out to while waiting for the Blue Line train home Friday.

And then I remembered: Many of MK’s beats that didn't hit me immediately did grow on me before long. Sound of the City, Caltroit and much of his other material had something of a delayed response for me, but I ultimately came to adore them. So I found myself going back to the well to listen to some of my more beloved Black Milk goodies, like “Duck,” “Pressure,” and “Bang That Shit Out.”

After four days of listening to Tronic, I can say with certainty that it doesn’t have the staying power of Popular Demand, but it’s gonna be in rotation for much, much longer than most albums that have come out this year.

I don’t know what it is about Milk and those ridiculous drums (if you don’t wanna go to war after listening to “Long Story Short,” you’re light in the ass), but he has made it into the very exclusive cache of artists/producers who I will always, always check for…no matter the weather.

Don’t download this. Go cop it tomorrow.

No comments: