Album Of The Year: Black Milk (Review)

09/29/2010

Black-Milk
Black Milk’s newest album, Album Of The Year, since its release on September 14th has got critics wondering: Album of the Year? The predecessor of the late great J. Dilla, Black Milk began making waves two years ago with his album, Tronic. Largely respected for his production, and rightfully so–given that J Dilla was his “mentor,” with Tronic Black Milk tried to prove himself as a lyricist as well. That he did.

Black Milk’s intention with Album Of The Year is pretty self-explanatory. To be the “album of the year” it has to be a crossover crowd pleaser for both mainstream and underground fans. I’m sure not everyone agrees with this, but from my perspective, past top albums like Bitte Orca, Merriweather Pavillion, College Dropout (the most relevant comparison) or Oracular Spectacular have all reached both audiences.

Black Milk: “Round of Applause”
[audio: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11598506/08.%20Round%20Of%20Applause.mp3]

My qualm with Black Milk is similar for The Roots: there is no doubting he has talent, but he’s not a crossover act. Even with The Roots’ latest album with John Legend (their largest leap towards mainstream with pop artist John Legend), there’s just not a banger which rivals Lil Wayne or Kanye. And the Roots rightfully deserve to be compared with said artists, because in the underground they’re at that level. Black Milk seems to suffer from a similar dilemma.

“Deadly Medley” the first single, and probably the only radio friendly single of the album, is killer. The production is strong (no surprise here). The track features two great lyricists in Elzhi and Royce Da 5’9″. I also like the reference to Wu-Tang’s “Deadly Melody.” Don’t get me wrong, Album Of The Year is in fact a great album. I’d probably say I prefer it over Tronic; however, it’s far from the best album of 2010.

Black Milk: “Deadly Medley