I had to sit back and let these waves wash over me (||) for a bit before posting them. After some reflection I think it might be Issues best work to date. He’s still as strange as ever and still (very) far from being a technically polished rapper, although I doubt he has much interest in normality and dropping spiritual lyrical miracles. He’s simply getting better and more proficient at being his unique self on record. Despite all that, parts of the album actually resemble something like traditional rap music (gasp), and it’s surprisingly accessible too. The uniformly excellent production definitely helps, often serving to cushion Issue’s eccentricities and make them more palpable. So does the varied and impressive guest list, with Murs and Haleek Maul providing the standout features.
Alas, that very guest list makes for some of my least favorite moments of the album – ‘Teaholics’ and ‘Pasta’. Part of this is rooted in personal prejudices like my strong dislike of Das Racist, but there’s more to it. Issue’s singularity is clearly the main attraction here, by far, shifting focus away from him for longer than one verse just feels like a waste of valuable tea time.
WAVES OF ITALY by IHeardISSUE