Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Naeem: Startisha [37d03d, 2020]
In which the former Spank Rock, the beatmastering Baltimore rap eccentric who followed 2006's subculturally renowned YoYoYoYoYoYo with 2011's obscurely self-released Everything Is Boring and Everyone Is a Fucking Liar, enlists such mismatched fans as Bon Iver and Swamp Dogg on an engaging and unpredictable album that either reveals him as he truly is or unpacks his selves as they truly are. Slipping readily from the omnivorous orgiastics of "Woo Woo Woo" to the stricken romanticism of "Us," he's nowhere more relatable than on a title song that recalls and worries about a girlchild whose sexuality was so innate it put her in who knows what danger. Is this girlchild Naeem, somebody like him, or someone he knew? No idea. A-