Sayknowledge Vibe Called Quest

Sayknowledge Vibe Called Quest
7
Praised by hip-hop enthusiasts in recent months as a young rap prodigy mature beyond his years, with a penchant for matching "highbrow" lyricism with street-approved accessibility, sayknowledge's debut set manages to land the Bay Area native squarely in the middle of such sliding descriptors. Holding up a dizzyingly malleable flow stretched wide by an impressively broad range of multigenerational pop-culture references as his calling card, sayknowledge does an admirable job of transforming a handful of youthful themes (well, girls mostly) into a far more interesting display of his ever-twisting wordplay. The butter-smooth soundtrack that anchors this Vibe Called Quest excursion solidifies the record's appeal, riding soothingly from laid-back, horn- and key-mounted, late-night groove to the funkified bustle of "The Globe" and slow-rocking, reggae-tinged closer "Jawn Cue." With the repeated spins required to catch all of sayknowledge's many lyrical turns, the record's well-crafted backing band musical aesthetic makes for an increasingly satiating listen, and an interesting first foray from the San Francisco-based wordsmith. (Heavy Keys)