When they keep it ‘cloud’ the results are remarkable, but elsewhere, romance and originality suffer
‘Cloud rap’ is a new form of hip-hop that’s rejected rap’s bulky thrust in favour of hazy textures and light FX. Main Attrakionz, two of the genre’s stars, make faded and vaguely sad hip-hop and conjure a Washed Out-via-Mobb Deep sound. In their street scene, corner kids deal with poverty’s many tragedies with angelic grace rather than aggression. But if their 2011 album ‘808s & Dark Grapes II’ was the sound of the disenfranchised, follow-up ‘Bossalinis…’ sees band members Squadda B and MondreMAN getting decidedly playa, possibly as a result of their new-found fame. We’re treated to club jams (‘Green On Sight’) and swaggering gangsta tracks (‘Liquor Runs’), which don’t work with the Oakland duo’s blunted-out flow. When they do keep it ‘cloud’ – with the dissolving beauty of ‘Cloud Body’ and the fairytale-like ‘Love Is Life’ – the results are remarkable. But elsewhere, romance and originality suffer.