Black Milk
Tronic


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jared W. Dillon USER (118 Reviews)
November 7th, 2008 | 90 replies | 14,928 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Black Milk's 'Tronic' proves the producer is currently one of hip-hop's key artists.

Current trends in hip-hop supposedly point towards the South currently dominating the genre. Lil' Wayne replacing Eminem as the rapper most adored by white fans. T.I. releasing an album with six successful singles that hardly became redundant. Signs are certainly motioning towards the South being in some type of acclaimed "golden age" at the moment. While the assessment has grounds, the opposite opinion also has its validity. Able to be mentioned in the same breath as Eminem, Lil’ Wayne has gorged himself on success and will likely never see the same amount of popularity that he does today. T.I., while releasing a solid record this year, has at the same time given into his pop indulgencies and seems to be transforming into a legitimate Nelly. Pimp C's passing in late 2007 also puts a huge hole into the constantly consistent Southern rappers that have been performing since the early '90s (i.e. Devin the Dude, Scarface, etc.). One could paint the picture that Southern rap is in reality grasping at the straws of its former popularity and has fully lowered itself on the sword of marketability. What does this have to do with Black Milk's 'Tronic'? Direct relations aren't really what can be drawn from this assessment of the current rap game, but what we can understand is that Detroit, with the help of Black Milk and other individuals, has positioned itself to be the next huge rap scene. Black Milk's two most appreciated acts over the past two years has been his work on Phaorahe Monch's 'Desire' and Elzhi's 'The Preface,' both of which were bookmarked by a variety of other work as well as Milk's solo LP 'Popular Demand.' 'Tronic' certainly stacks up against those two releases and his first solo record as a fully realized version of Black Milk's vision. While 'Tronic' may not be the hip-hop classic that its early internet buzz has illustrated it to be, the album has revealed itself to be yet another great rap record featuring the association of one of the best producers currently in the genre.

Keeping with the theme of production, we should first bring up J. Dilla. Dilla is probably the most appreciated hip-hop artist from Detroit and Black Milk, being one of his students, wears the Detroit sound on his sleeve. While 'Popular Demand' and other Black Milk work certainly seemed to full embrace Dilla's sound, 'Tronic' is Milk attempting to reach out for something different. Heavy on the synthetics, 'Tronic' comes off as almost a sophisticated take on Kanye West. The album kicks off with the epic 'Long Story Short' which features Black Milk recounting his stance from unknown MC to the savior of Detroit hip-hop. After the more sentimental intro though, 'Tronic' becomes a very different album revolving on intensely dense beats that feel like a catchier version of Def Jux material. Tracks like 'Overdose' clearly show an electronica influence, relying on a crescendoing beat to build even more intensity into the producer's rhymes. 'Tronic' succeeds in offering a variety of different hip-hop environments, from the extremely poppy 'Without U' to the Phaorahe Monch, Sean Price, and DJ Premier assisted 'The Matrix.' While Black Milk certainly suffers from the same negatives most producers-turned-MCs do, he is able to keep the listener's attention and certainly give the impression that he can actually hold his own on a track with three of the most inventive artists in the hip-hop field.

Perhaps I haven't fully explained the sophistication of 'Tronic.' The album is a cohesive connection between underground and mainstream rap, featuring guests from Royce Da 5'9 to Colin Munroe. Black Milk once again proves he is probably second only to Madlib in terms of producing beats that actually sound like hip-hop should in 2008. All in all, I would be very surprised if any hip-hop album reaches this level of precision this year. Black Milk has simply made a completely unique statement in what is typically a pretty stale genre, and with 'Tronic' he has confirmed his status as one of the best. As ‘Losing Out’ attests, Detroit is hungry, and perhaps the Midwest will finally break out with the success of artists as inventive and interesting as Black Milk.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SynGates
November 7th 2008


2467 Comments


Nice review. Never heard of this guy but the myspace tracks are great so far.

Anodyne
November 7th 2008


85 Comments


one of ur best reviews in awhile you seemed to have capitalized things

sgrevs
November 7th 2008


698 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Mad review, agree all round. Album owns.

Zebra
Moderator
November 8th 2008


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awesome album. "the matrix" is just ridiculous.

SynGates
November 9th 2008


2467 Comments


This is really good. I love Reppin for U and The Matrix

ManWomanBoogie
November 9th 2008


185 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good work on the review, gunna check this out.

AtavanHalen
November 9th 2008


17927 Comments


Break up that first paragraph, otherwise wootage

handoman
November 9th 2008


2386 Comments


I downloaded this form your blog. Im liking it so far.

AtavanHalen
November 9th 2008


17927 Comments


Oh real; linkage?

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
November 9th 2008


17920 Comments


http://last-train-tocool.blogspot.com/

plane
Staff Reviewer
November 9th 2008


6094 Comments


I like what I've listened to a lot so far.

plane
Staff Reviewer
November 10th 2008


6094 Comments


Excellent, "Without U" is awesome.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
November 15th 2008


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is so ridiculously good. I'm having trouble reviewing other hiphop cause I just want to listen to this.

griftadan
November 19th 2008


10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ok this is rules are any of his other albums any good?

foreverendeared
November 19th 2008


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album is pretty damn good. not sure if it's quite good enough to break into my top 25 of '08 though

jrowa001
November 19th 2008


8750 Comments


i liked Popular Demand, so i need to get my hands on this one

pixiesfanyo
November 19th 2008


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"ok this is rules are any of his other albums any good?"

there is the Elec mixtape and Popular Demand which are both a little disappointing in my eyes. i'd say the most similar quality wise to this would be Elzhi's 'The Preface' but Milk only raps on like one track. produced basically the whole thing though

kingsoby1
Emeritus
November 19th 2008


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The Preface is really tight.

Guilty Simpson - "Ode to the Ghetto" has some awesome Black Milk beats on it too.

foreverendeared
December 9th 2008


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Black milk is cocky as fuck on "give the drummer sum"

kingsoby1
Emeritus
December 9th 2008


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rightfully so, being one of the best 3 hiphop producers right now.
3.5, are you serious. there's no way this is less than a 4, unless you don't really like hiphop that much.



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