|In a salvo of declarations for the besieged hip-hop underground Bus delivers nothing short in a voice of salvation to his branded emo-rap comrades, a delicious convo piece for the avant-garde and a word that's bond for the deceivingly unseen Black-rapper of this whole community. In the chess game for indie-sub-genres, he finds solace in his heretical popularity.|
Technically his fourth album, Fear of a Black Tangent is, for many outside of the California crust, his sophomore follow-up to the largely heralded yet somewhat hard to find Temporary Forever (which is his true second album). Stylistically following a similar pattern in production, enlisted collaborators run the wily inventive shortlist of Los Angeles fringe producers like Omid, Daedelus, Thavius Beck, and the rising star Paris Zax, as recent LA transplants like Danger Mouse and Prefuse 73 join the musical fold in what plays across as a bed of range, for both producers and the lyricist at hand. Some subtle, some obvious, but all slightly askew to match the flailing delivery and chin-rub introspection that is Busdriver.
Toying with parody throughout, "Reheated Pop!" plays out in a story of the posthumanist career he holds after an extreme bungee-skiing tragedy that robbed him of his life. In both an excellent commentary on the unfortunate-phenomenon that is albums-from-beyond-the-grave and dope example of storytelling, Bus and Omid pull off an odd-ball, yet intoxicating opening to an album full of many likeminded creations. "Befriend the Friendless Friendster" mirrors the sarcasm, if you can catch cadence in the wild Swing/Bop music chop of Daedelus, like an out of control merry-go-round, if you can gab a bar you'll be in for one crazy ride. A ride, that spins around the rapper at one-hundred miles a song, slowing down very occasionally. One instance is the lead single, "Unemployed Black Astronaut" (produced by Paris Zax) a bitter-sweet rundown of his plight. Beautifully sang, in an off-kilter tone that complements the cutty acoustic-guitar, seeming out-of-place superficially but makes complete sense in the context of Busdriver's career. He contests, "I'm the guy that started doing songs with CVE, now you're like 'Chillin' Villain who?' 'Project what?'" - a telling testament to both the progression of his career and the regression and forgetfulness of the hip-hop underground. Where the hot shit of tomorrow often blocks the relevance of yesterday's accomplishments. Fear of a Black Tangent does just that, expands on the rudimentary Busdriver, as it plugs into the future with an ever aware ear. Constant self-actualization on the mic, with the fervor to serve anyone upside the head in a delivery of breath control utilized by no other artist out today. Slippery as it may be, the Tangent is one worth risking the journey. - Elemental