BurntMD's Not So Black & White combines relatively old-school production with a new-school flow that draws from MCs as diverse as Pharoahe Monch, Xzibit, Aesop Rock, Canibus and Mos Def and seems to change dramatically with every track. The sound is anything but repetitive and is tricky to pin down — moving everywhere from blaxploitation to reggae to jazz to psychedelia to mid-century noir, providing enough color to explain the album's title. The MC also employs a collage of rap allusions in lieu of several of his choruses, creating interesting and exciting hooks using recognizable, tried-and-true segments from classic songs and underground favorites, rewarding the most devoted hip-hop fans while also pointing to the breadth of the MC's musical knowledge. Samples include snippets from Cage, Big L, Big Daddy Kane and Eazy-E, to name just a few; it's like an inside joke that anybody who puts the time in can understand. Still, BurntMD covers enough bases to reach most everybody, and he does it effectively enough to please them.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.