Detroit rappers/producers are entering an age of acclaim. Now that late Motown rapper/producer extraordinaire J Dilla is getting posthumous props all over the globe, the rap world seems hungry for anything with an authentic Detroit sound. It's a fine time for former in-house Slum Village producer Black Milk to release a heat rocket of an album that's packed with boastful lyrics and airtight production. In fact it's hard to determine which of the talents on Popular Demand stands out the most. The beats are full of sped-up soul samples a la Kanye West, but have a much grittier street sound and still carry traces of Dilla. At the same time Black's cadence and flow is equally impressive as he raps about sex, hip-hop, the search for records, and, yes, more sex. The track "Three+Sum" is one of the funnier cuts, with a self-explanatory theme. Normally such an approach is cheesy, but Black is reminiscent of a headstrong Big Daddy Kane circa 1987, and he's even adapted Kane's rapper Casanova attitude. At the same time Black can still smack the life out of competitors with strong production work on tracks like "Insane" and "Shut It Down" that are half soul and half battle rap. "Say Something" is possibly the best cut on this album, but the reunited Slum Village track with T3, Elzhi, and Baatin together on wax is a highlight as well. All around, Popular Demand is a summer anthem just waiting to happen.
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