Atlanta rap veteran Killer Mike, who some may recognise from his early work with OutKast (or even as the voice of Frisky Dingo‘s Taqu’il), released his monstrous sixth solo LP R.A.P. Music last week and it is a must-listen. Produced by former Def Jux mastermind El-P, the album is hard as hell and kicks the ass of every other hip-hop LP in recent memory. Mike’s combination of urgent political statements over relentlessly banging tracks is thrilling, referencing and often recalling the likes of Ice Cube’s AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, and El-P’s flawless production is right up there with his work on Cannibal Ox’s The Cold Vein. Opening track ‘Big Beast’ was the first to surface online, featuring fellow southern rap kings Bun B and T.I. spitting over a sample of Public Enemy’s ‘Public Enemy No. 1’, with both being upstaged by Mike’s hell-raising verses. The second track released online was ‘Dont Die’, which features an ode to his cop father during its “fuck the police” narrative. R.A.P. Music (which stands for Rebellious African People’s Music) floored me on first listen, and I haven’t stopped spinning it since. This is easily the best hip-hop release of 2012 so far, and undoubtedly a masterpiece of Southern rap, so do yourself a favour and grab a copy ASAP.
Listen to ‘Big Beast’ (ft. Bun B, T.I. & Trouble) below.
Listen to ‘Don’t Die’ below.