In 1908 John McTaggart Ellis wrote ‘The Unreality of Time’ which argued successfully that time is a contradictory concept and hence unreal. ‘It’s About Time’ is a record like this. Both McTaggart and TLSM write about time and some of the absurd things about it. Both are rooted firmly in a tradition, here hip-hop, with McTaggart, philosophy. But both bend the starting points of these to a wonderfully skewed, weird and utterly unique conclusion. Let me explain.
Vs 29 extracts from Eugene Onegin, a rumination on life and creativity. Oh.. worries about the sadness of melted snow men. By the time we get to Kicking Logic, we know we have something unprecedented. Over a g-funk whistle and popping sliced human beat box, we hear the implications of the multiple worlds of quantum mechanics for having a party, first entry in a genre called Schrödinger’s rap. A Rose In Winter is the opening part of a dark fairy story of kings and frozen princesses. Call Me Old Fashioned is an audacious display of lyrical dexterity and sheer imagination set over a sole metronomic beat. In a very strange time-signature. And it is wonderful, crazy stuff.
But as with all his music, Talk Less, Say More effortlessly connects the abstract with the concrete. The centrepiece tribute to Ludwig Boltzmann’s tragic death is devastating and truly beautiful, a melancholy Bone Thugs-n-Harmony reminding us that ‘disorder is exponentially increasing’. St Patrick’s Well features the most heartsick vocoder since O Superman. Can it be that it was all so simple then? The answer is no.
This is certainly hip-hop, but not as we know it. It’s like Timbaland glitched up and drunk on weirdness reading a science textbook while feeling a bit down. It’s like a simple argument that explains that time doesn’t exist. In short: mind-bending stuff.
See also: Sa-Ra Creative Partnership, eDIT, Clouddead and everything on Anticon records, Kool Keith’s many projects, Bone Thugz-n-Harmony, Company Flow, MF Doom, Anti-pop Consortium
- 1. Vs 29 of Eugene Onegin (0.46)
- 2. (Oh My How) Time Flies (2.43)
- 3. Kicking Logic (2.58)
- 4. A Rose in Winter (Arctic Fox, Part 1) (3.49)
- 5. Stateoftheart (3.01)
- 6. It’s a Habit to Examine (1.46)
- 7. The End (Has to Start Somewhere) (2.58)
- 8. The Quarterbeats (0.49)
- 9. Song for Ludwig Boltzmann (3.34)
- 10. (Oh My How) (reprise) (2.30)
- 11. Vs 150 of Eugene Onegin (1.48)
- 12. Oh No (3.15)
- 13. Call Me Old Fashioned (1.15)
- 14. St Patrick’s Well (3.36)
- 15. Arctic Fox, Part 2 (2.58)