TronicAlbum | Black Milk By Jason Lipshutz
An unsung hip-hop treasure.
Call Tronic the anti-Carter III: while Lil’ Wayne was still on the victory lap for his platinum-selling populist masterwork, Detroit rapper-producer Curtis Cross, aka Black Milk, released an ambitious sophomore album with better overall songs and beats that could make you shiver. While MCs like Invincible and Finale have defined the thoughtful rhyming of Detroit’s quietly flourishing rap scene, Tronic is the movement’s most fully formed statement due to its breathtaking diversity. Just listen to the lock-step percussion on “Bounce,” the drumline precision of “Give The Drummer Sum” or the funky synthesizer maze of “The Matrix,” and you’ll realize that Black Milk’s world sounds much cooler than our own. Although he is a better producer than rapper, Black Milk’s rhymes are crisp and kinetic enough to maintain each song’s momentum. Tronic remains criminally overlooked outside of indie rap circles, yet Black Milk’s second effort fits comfortably between the head-knocking rhythms of A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders and futuristic warmth of Kanye West’s Graduation.