Killer Mike – ‘R.A.P. Music’

Half the album’s a grind - not the good kind

Fast off the back of last year’s ‘PL3DGE’ LP comes Grind Time Official star Killer Mike’s sixth full-length outing. Built on a somewhat uneasy collaboration between the OutKast protégé and Def Jux founder El-P, it’s a set of two halves whose hands won’t hold. Mike’s an angry, earthy rapper and his standard “hardcore G shit” (‘Big Beast’) chips and bumps against his producer’s strained attempts to lift it skywards with spacey electro noodling (‘Don’t Die’). Worst of the back end is ‘Reagan’ – a politi-rap analysis of the Iran-Contra scandal. It’s a relic – a meandering, studenty thought piece that’s been dug from the ratty recesses of the ’90s West Coast conscious scene. Mike has dabbled with politics in the past, and even made unlikely forays into experimental soul, but ‘RAP Music’ lacks the fury and vitality that usually sustains him. The ambition is to be applauded, but half the album’s a grind. And not the good kind.

Henry Barnes