When Kendrick dropped “i,” there was a divide in the critical reaction. My unscientific eye felt like it was a 70/30 split in favor of the pop (some have said Macklemore-ian) style, but either way that’s still a pretty big dissension for the supposed heir apparent of rap. One of the most notable critics was rapper and Hellfyre Club founder Nocando:
How bad that new Kendrick song is reaffirms that @HellfyreClub is the only thing relevant right now. Good luck in 2015 guys
— Nocando (@MCNocando) September 23, 2014
However you feel about “i” is whatever, what matters more is that he’s not wrong about the goodness of the Hellfyre Club. The main thrust right now is the recently released a toothpaste suburb from milo, his first official album. The track I keep returning to is the vibrating, loving, and idea-packed “objectifying rabbits.”
milo belongs to a breed of rapper that privileges words over most everything else, but the beats and backing tracks on a toothpaste suburb are nothing to gloss over. “objectifying rabbits” is almost ambient in the way some of the sounds stretch and yawn, but electronic vibrato stings and an intermittent rattle make it more immediate stuff. It is purely, as the hook goes, something pretty.