The significance of making a definite statement outside of the music has become just as important as the music itself. So when word circulated in the infant stages of 2010 that Black Milk's fourth album was to be named Album of the Year, there was a collective gasp amongst Hip-Hoppers everywhere. Gutsy call for a first down play. But for an artist such as Black Milk, whose credibility stems from placing art over image, the overall meaning tends to be more than meets the eye.
As it does. The 313 spokesman vividly recounts his "steering wheel to the new album of his career," marked by a fiscal year full of death and sickness on the exultant opener "365." Great adversity tends to fork the road between unfocused and champion sound but thankfully, Black Milk opts for the latter path to fuel the focus for much of Album of the Year.
Despite making significant improvements in his rapping ability since his career began, the production remains Black Milk's biggest bargaining chip. Sweeping crescendos, crashing symbols and oscillated bass all season the instrumentals for distinct flavoring in Black's gumbo pot. The obligatory female record in "Oh Girl" takes a hold a new guise as a hypnotic jam session, fully equipped with a call and response hook and sonorous drum work. Delving in the realm of craftiness as well as the commercial is a rare yet valued trait and "<a href="http://smokingsection.uproxx.com/TSS/2010/07/download-black-milk-welcome-gotta-go">Welcome (Gotta Go)</a>" accomplishes much of the same as well.