Elucid cast a spell on ‘I Told Bessie’: review

fits; This is what Elucid calls it. The New York rapper opens his new album I said Bessie With a song called “Spellling,” it’s not about putting the letters in the correct order. Title I said Bessie It is a nod to Elucid’s late mother’s grandmother and the time he spent living with her in Brooklyn. Speaking of the album, Elucid slips into a kind of sensory memory fugue, talking about the scents of food and the West who have always been on TV. Elucid lived with Bessie while he was actively making music, and in Interview with Martin Douglas from KEXPdiscussing the music he made as part of his relationship with his grandmother: “Bessie heard all my rap songs. She used to hear my screams at two in the morning, two in the afternoon. I heard all those spells being cast, you know?”

Elucid is half of Armand Hammer, the avant-garde New York duo that is arguably the greatest rap group on the planet right now. I’ve always thought of Elucid’s partner Armand Hammer Billy Woods as the duo’s most traditional rapper. In his work, Billy Woods delves into heavy layers of history and symbolism, balancing extreme fury with ostentation. They are both amazing, and both aren’t afraid to use dubbed demo sounds and tunes that don’t fit any expected rap scale. But Elucid always seemed to be the farthest from a rapper – the one most in love with live noise, and the one least interested in writing quotable tapes. Elucid’s last complete solo project by I said Bessie It was 2020 Search!, a one-track half hour ride that doesn’t feature a lot of actual rap and sometimes condone not being able to listen. But after spending a week or so with I said BessieThe whole Elucid method doesn’t seem so simple.

This is the problem with any attempt to impose a narrative on art. Rarely are things as simple as the stories you make up to tell yourself. When Elucid discusses his music, he never talks about trying to undermine the rules of rap or anything like that. He’s just talking about getting beats from different producers and rapping on the beats I talked to him. Elucid didn’t even serialize the album; That was left to Billy Woods, who serves as executive producer and who released the album on his Backwoodz label. On some level, the tracks are on I said Bessie It’s just straight rap in New York – verses over clips and drums, everyone trying to scare everything out creatively. But the album is not so simple either. While that, I said Bessie He recorded rap music in New York And the Experimental freak. Rap music like that. It can be everything.

It is interesting to compare I said Bessie to me Ethiopia, is Billy Woods’ album released a few months ago and it’s still the best rap album of the year so far. Both albums are community affairs, set up with rappers and producers who come from the same corner of the rap world, and both are farmers. They find grooves that don’t necessarily have immediate meaning but reveal themselves over time. But the timber seems to work in a narrow frame, and it’s all about that Ethiopia It seems to relate to his ideas about Africa, as we have seen from America. For the most part, I said Bessie He finds Elucid in a mental niche that is more fluid and instinctive. Both rappers say things that might make your mind spin in different directions, but it’s hard to follow Elucid patterns. I wonder if he always knows what he’s going to say on the track before he says it.

To listen to Elucid music, you have to come to terms with the idea that you won’t always know what’s going on. You are will Get lost. Elucid knows this, and at some point I said BessieRather, he puts it plainly: “Words mean things, but there’s no need for that.” Words of Elucid an act mean things. Sometimes, he’ll come up with an image so poignant that it almost hurts to think of it: “The world is different from the back of a police car / My mom looks old, my dad hits hard and small.” Sometimes, he’ll say some tough nonsense: “Slicing necks are like fine bones from a mackerel.” A few of his lines serve as poetic reflections on the fragility of human life, especially when a clear numerical value is assigned to life: “5 kilos to put a body in the ground / Twenty dollars to wear your face on a shirt.” More often than you would expect, he only talks about sex.

But Elucid will come up with some nonsense that almost resists explanation, and short bursts of language that you just have to feel. When he talks about “cracked teeth clustered in a pyramid”, I don’t know what that means, but it’s up to a primitive level anyway. His lines don’t have to make business sense: “Blowin kisses my Metaverse/Gorilla Biscuits until my head explodes.” I’m an easy sign for rappers who scream strong bands, but is that just a scream? Does it matter? no no no. At least for me, Elucid music works best when I stop worrying about what things mean and start letting myself feel things. This isn’t always easy for me, but Elucid makes it all worth the effort.

I said Bessie Works on feeling. Tracks fade to blur and then switch to other tracks. Elucid sometimes stops his raw affirmation delivery and slips into a sad, moaning spell. “Ghoulie” has a mostly drumless beat that’s similar to the sound effect in a movie when everything slows down and a sudden realization occurs. (This rhythm comes from Lasso, Elucid’s partner on the duo for the side project Small Bills. In a KEXP interview, Elucid says, “I feel like I’m getting Lasso’s rhythms and starting to rap about nature and shit.”) This track leads straight to “Smile Lines,” Which looks like death metal that has been carefully dissected and reassembled by aliens. “A split tongue” can be an ancient prayer. ‘Jumanji’ is a devastating hit with the anxiety of being pushed forward and center. “Betamax” sounds almost like classic New York rap, with its severed soul sample and scratched hook, but its timing is a little off. Nothing falls where you would expect it to land.

This morning, I woke up at dawn and went to the gym. This was out of the routine for me. My kids just got out of school in the summer, and that’s the only point in the day when I have time to work out. I hadn’t had any coffee or Adderall when I used those devices, and I felt like I was underwater even before I put I said Bessie on my headphones. The Elucid album isn’t motivational workout music, and I don’t know if I’d recommend using it in a place like this, but it worked for me. When my mind was pure mush, I felt more connected to what Elucid was doing. I’m a music critic by trade, and I usually can’t listen to anything without making mental charts. Elucid will not allow you to do this. Spells are not supposed to be parsed.

Five angry

1. The result – “blood spot”
I guess I’m done trying to figure out where Kanye West is in the bigger scheme of things, but the guy can still make up a nice rhythm, and Consequence can still float on top of it effortlessly. I don’t know what it’s worth, but it’s worth something.

2. Tremayne – “Daddy Issue (Stuntin’ Like My Daddy)” (feat. Backwash & Charlie Noir)
I like what they’re doing here, but Tremaine and Charlie Noir are new to me. Backwash is the reason I hit this one. As much as I love hearing her sing along to her industrial-metal cacophony, it’s great to hear her go ahead hard on a live rap song, albeit a cut-out song like this one.

3. Nardo Wick – Riot
Nardo could tell he’d start a riot on a half-asleep murmur, and I still believed him.

4. Kid Cody – “Do What I Want”
I didn’t know I needed to hear Cody skip the pat project flow, but I’ll take it over everything else he’s done in the past no matter how many years. The sound is on that guy.

5. Scorcher – Ops (Featured Tion Wayne)
The exposed secret about the UK pits: It’s closer to dirt than it is to the Chicago pits. This is a good thing.

Five angry