August 29th, 2015 | Album reviews


“Woke” is the word that sticks out after tumbling down this rabbit hole designed by the artist formerly known as Ronee Sage. The messages on this web-only album are often as cryptic as possible while still retaining the irresistible kernel of true life experience. “Siifu” means “master” in Chinese, and Pink is influenced not only by master musical linguists Ornette Coleman and J Dilla, but also by Frusciante, Sun Ra, Lynch, and Seurat. I don’t care if this is rap, or even if it’s music: it’s brave art. Use of foley and field recordings reveal sunny outdoor spaces at times, but at others recall goosebumped moments staring at raindrops on the window of your mind’s eye. Eludem-produced “hendrix” is one of those beats you wish would go on forever, and like Jimi Hendrix’s own “Little Wing,” the song ends just as it was getting started, leaving us wanting more. “forest/park” is pure, honest poetry, while “slave song” uses a descending Donald Byrd sample to create a feeling of wastedness. This is by no means an easy record to listen to the first time, but great things are often challenging at first. For his integrity as a creator and curator, we owe Siifu a debt of gratitude for making a truly masterful album that should be celebrated by rap fans and vaporwavers alike.

—D. Momanaee