Ta'Raach and the Lovelution

It's good finally to hear an LP from Cali-via-Detroit hip-hop darling Ta'Raach, who has been stuck in "next to blow up" status for, well, the bulk of his life. While rapping under the name Lacks in the late Nineties, he helped start a makeshift group called the Breakfast Club with soul singer Dwele, Big Tone, Elzhi of Slum Village, and Waajeed of Platinum Pied Pipers — all of whom had scored major record deals since. While Ta'Raach waited for his own moment, he remixed, rhymed, or crafted beats for J Dilla, Carl Craig, and Amp Fiddler, to name a few. This week Ta'Raach and the motley crew Lovelution released their long-awaited debut album, The Fevers, which is getting well-deserved love in scores of glossy music rags. Ta'Raach wastes no time on the record, spitting hot shit so that listeners know why he's the Negro in charge. His deadpan cadence and blunt approach to MCing on tracks like "The Big Bang Theory" and "F#@kin' Round" help breathe life back into the dying genre of hip-hop. There are also neck-jarring drum patterns and practically cinematic production here that carries the album, even during the moments when some of the MCs stumble lyrically. The song "Hey!" is the album's finest moment, but the beat on "Merci Me Lord" is arguing against me right now. — Jonathan Cunningham

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Jonathan Cunningham