Just days after releasing the immaculate lead single, “Conception,” on Tidal, Black Thought has returned with a full EP, Streams Of Thought, Vol. 2, produced entirely by Salaam Remi, who is best known for his work on tracks for Nas (“Made You Look”), Amy Winehouse (“Just Friends”), and Miguel (“All I Want Is You”).
Thought makes use of Remi’s soulful, live band backdrops to address the social ills and higher vibrations that have become his verbal stock in trade, proving that he’s still one of the best lyricists in rap, unleashing flurries of iron-hard, vice-tight bars over Remi’s signature, soda crisp drums and ominous bass lines. Leading off with a lamentation of the opioid crisis on “Fentanyl” and featuring a flute-riddled warning to listeners to watch their step lest they “Get Outlined,” Streams Of Thought Vol. 2 finds Black Thought in his finest form, picking up where he left off on the 9th Wonder-helmed first edition.
Where 9th and his Soul Council allowed samples to the do the heavy lifting, Salaam sticks largely to live instrumentation, but featuring a jazzier, more Blaxploitation-influenced approach than the usual, experimental takes that Black Thought’s band The Roots has used on their last few albums. The sound suits him, though, giving him plenty of room to stretch out and flex his lyrical muscles, reminding listeners that when he wants to be, he can be the most dangerous person ever to touch a mic.
Streams Of Thought Vol. 2 is out now via Passyunk Productions/ Human Re Sources.