K-the-I??? Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

Every song is a puzzle on K-The-I???'s album, Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow. Rhymes like "Situations tend to shift motion/Focus in closer to the open hi-hat/Simulated in fact/the locust swarms in" ("Lead the Floor") are as frustrating as an ambiguous crossword clue, but solving them is just as satisfying. There's little inflection in his voice — sometimes he raps, sometimes it's spoken word, sometimes it sounds like he's just telling you a joke he once heard. Whatever he's doing, listening to him is a cerebral experience and can be dizzying. You might need to pause, deflate and resume. K's got some deft cameos, such as Busdriver, Subtitle and High Priest, but the best contribution comes from Thavius Beck, not as a rapper on "Marathon Man" but as the lead producer spearheading this cutting-edge project. His beats are charged with high-voltage electricity and are as interesting as the words above or below them. (Mush)