Consumer Guide Album
Gift of Gab: Finding Inspiration Somehow [Nature Sounds, 2021]
The brainy Blackalicious frontman died at 50 in June, but he went out flying and grounded at the same time--glad to be alive and knowing death might be in the offing, which you can tell because "kidney failure" is such a rare turn of phrase in the popular music canon. Riding beats designed to flow not signify, "Gentrification" revisits a ruined-because-rehabbed hood where "money took the place of love" and "You Gon' Make It in the End" fuses firm moralism with irrepressible affection as he maps the foibles of friends he swears have better in store. "The Idea of America" is one he knows will remain only an idea until its citizens remember that Texas used to be Mexico and our new president is an "American-born Iraqi." "A Weekend in Venice" relives a dream romance. "Back to the Light" makes a pass at the universe itself.