FEVER - Black Milk
Rapper/producer Black Milk dropped his latest album, entitled FEVER, this past week. Over his decade-plus career, Black Milk has worked with a variety of hip-hop giants, including the likes of Slum Village, Danny Brown, Pharoahe Monch, Wu-Tang members the RZA and the GZA, and the late great fellow Detroit native J Dilla. He’s been honing his hip-hop craft for a while, and that experience shows on FEVER, his sixth solo rap album, released on Mass Appeal Records.
The first track from FEVER, “unVEil”, gives listeners a taste of the depth and the creativity of production that can be expected throughout the remainder of the album, as well as the mindful lyricism of Black Milk. The production really struck me in the transition between “unVEil” and the second track, “But I Can”, where the chill psychedelic vibe of the intro track drops into the hard-hitting beat of the next with a flawless mix. This and following transitions, in addition to the creative production, inspired me to look at the production and mixing credits on FEVER. I was excited and pleasantly surprised to read that Black Milk himself was the man behind the production, the mix, the mastering, AND was the man on the mic. See the full credits below.
Written, Produced & Performed by Black Milk; Drums & Percussion by Chris "Daddy" Dave, Daru Jones; Bass by Malik Hunter, Sasha Kashperko; Guitar by Sasha Kashperko; Keys by Ian Fink; Trumpet by Kris Johnson; Additional Vocals by Dwele, Aaron "Ab" Abernathy, Sudie;
Mixed and Mastered by Black Milk, Recorded by Black Milk at Stank Babies Studios & Chris Koltay at High Bias Recordings, Additional Recording by Pete Min at Lucy’s Meat Market (Track 5)
Art Direction by The Pressure, Photograph by Jabari Jacobs, Paintings by Jordan Sowers, Hand-marks by Maja Dlugolecki
This type of thing makes me ecstatic. In an industry where it is and becomes evermore common to contract production and mixing out to a third party, and where ghostwriting is the norm, it is great to see an artist take a project into their own hands – keeping creative control over everything from penning lyrics to the final mix and master.
Throughout FEVER, Black Milk takes listeners on a wave of varying unique sounds and a critical social commentary, using his skills behind the boards and mindful lyricism on the mic. From critiques on the education and religious systems over electric guitar on “True Lies”, to bars of optimism over a Kaytranada-esque house beat on “Will Remain” – listeners are treated to a sublime variety of subject matter and instrumentals entirely throughout FEVER, mixed together in a cohesive manner.
Black Milk delivered a marvelous twelve tracks on FEVER. The eclectic fusion of electronic, soul, rock, and hip-hop sound make FEVER a euphonious experience for listeners. Listen to FEVER by Black Milk below.