"Can you hear me, I'm thinking out loud
Painting pictures with the sounds tryin' to help you see clearly"
If Genesis the Greykid is a new name to you (as it was to me until Giles Peterson's radio show last weekend) you should know he was born in Tennessee, he's a poet inspired by TS Eliot, a rapper who's now released three 'Grey Skies' mixtapes, and his real name is the same as mine (Russell).
The mixtape is loosely themed around Christopher Nolan's 2006 film 'The Prestige', lifting dialogue from the movie and stretching its ambitions as high as the magicians in the film.
This is a really atmospheric album, which flows together as one feally good listen. Never resoring to the lowest common denominator rap of bitches'n'hos or guns'n'drive-bys, there's intellectual though on display here, together with some genuine emotional moments, stuff about growing up and goofing around mixed with deep stuff about life and death. Take a track like 'Lab Rats'; slow paced - "I'm sorry you can't dance to this, but just listen" he say's at the end - it's a downbeat tale of a break-up and how that can lead to an uncertain happiness if you can move on. And the first time I heard 'Miles Miles Miles' it genuinely made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up - he might not be the first rapper to sample Bon Iver but he uses it so well here, backing the story of his young mom and what she went through before she had him.
If you're looking for a comparison I think he's right up there with Oddisee for lyrical flow and intelligent discourse, while his choice of samples is equally as good.
You can get this album for free, along wuth the 2 previous mixtapes, from his Bandcamp page using the link below. Ridiculously I almost wish it wasn't free as he really deserves to be paid for something as good as this, but I guess that's how the world works these days.