Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Mach-Hommy: Pray for Haiti [Griselda, 2021]
Like label head and off-and-on collaborator Westside Gunn, whose input here cultists believe render this the best of more Mach-Hommy albums than I can miscount, the Haitian-American rapper seems to regard what was once called gangsta rap as a fully aestheticized musical tradition ripe for formal exploitation. And on this album that tradition is in flower--every time it announces itself, the synth riff that undergirds the lead "The 26th Letter" cheers me up a little. But it's the verbal content that seals the deal. From the journalistic expose of Haiti's victimization by drug cartels to an academic discussion of regional Creole variants to Westside Pootie's shoe deal, some touches are literally prosaic. But I see no point in resisting "put this .38 in your mouth spit your magnum opus" or the way he rhymes "cornballs with no aesthetic vortex" with "Gore-Tex." Not to mention "every time I heard the voice of God it was a female." A-