Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Black Thought: Streams of Thought, Vol. 3: Cane and Able [Republic, 2020]
Cameo power is the main thing the major label imposes on Tariq Trotter's third excellent mixtape inside of two years, and from Stokely Carmichael on the beaten down "State Prisoner" to matched Pusha T and Killer Mike on the exultant "Good Morning" to Dave Chappelle on the historical "Steak Um," they deliver. But not only are the most winning tracks here personal, subject-wise you could call them predictable: the success story "Nature of the Beast" and the marriage-counseled "We Could Be Good (United)." Subject-wise you'd be right, too. Compassion- and complexity-wise, no. A-