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Tomorrow Right Now (Warp)

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.

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