We critics are so used to hearing music with obvious reference points that when we encounter albums without 'em, we're flabbergasted. Take Tomorrow Right Now
, the debut solo joint from this former member of the recently dissolved Antipop Consortium of genius hip-hoppers. It'll require at least
six listens to absorb Beans' unique metaphors and sick imagery. When the New York rapper/producer announces on "Roar," "I make music for MCs to slit their throats by," he ain't kiddin'. Most rappers boast about their superior rhymes; Beans just slays you with unprecedented verse. Like a streetwise e.e cummings, Beans flouts conventional notions of what constitutes "proper" flow; his rapping is often stiff and awkward. Beans' unique delivery veers from that of an Ivy League prof to an alien oracle to AWOL hardcore rhyme-slinger Jeru the Damaja to Charlton Heston's Moses. While not as innovative sonically, Tomorrow
quirkily melds '80s electro with Ivory Tower Moog emissions and detours into techno/krautrock fusions ("Rose Periwinkle Plum") and illbient ("Xon"). Like Sun Ra playing before Mormons in 1959, Tomorrow
will baffle most and leave brains as crispy as burnt toast.