Recordings: Blue Sky Black Death Presents – The Holocaust

    At the first and sanest moment of the Holocaust’s career, he appeared as a brooding, shackled 17-year-old spitting alongside Ghostface Killah, Dr. Doom and swarming bikini bitches in one of the RZA’s late-’90s Bobby Digital videos. Aside from a couple Killarmy and Killa Beez spots — and, for the last few years, forum hounds tracking his every lazy verse under alias Warcloud — that’s pretty much where the unsolved Wu-Tang prodigy left hip-hop hanging.

    Blue Sky Black Death Presents – The Holocaust

    If anyone could get him back on track, it had to be Blue Sky Black Death, the fresh new producers behind this year’s most nectarous double album of dark, sweet instrumentals and solidly laid raps from some underground greats. When Anthony Brown dropped by to record a track for disc two, the encounter evolved into a full-fledged recording session.

    Brown has aged into an odd breed of articulate brute; his literal Animal Planet and History Channel narrations are washed with primitive, bloody war threats from the noble fantasy novels in his head. BSBD’s controlled orchestration is not overly repetitive, yet at the same time avoids self-indulgent complications and strayings from the Holocaust’s marching lyrics, as it watches him try to fit too many words into a line and dig too deep into odd obsessions. His beat sets him free, finding and illuminating the charm in a gruff, disorganized flow.

    The pretty vocal samples, symbol-rich percussion and sweeping drama prove a matured extension of the buzzing duo’s freshman release, and their noise could not have found a better personality to match its fascinating otherworldliness. Though the Holocaust shows little rhythmic flexibility or quick ability, his careful words are so unpredictably chosen and his insanity borders so close to genius it’s hard to do anything but listen.

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