Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Spillage Village

  • Bears Like This Too Much [Spillage Village, 2016] ***
  • Spilligion [Dreamville/SinceThe80s/Interscope, 2020] A

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Bears Like This Too Much [Spillage Village, 2016]
Not trap, not conscious, this Atlanta rap "collective" or maybe bunch joke around over infectious loops as the KKK dons blue and they wonder where their next 90-cent cheeseburger is coming from ("Voodoo," "Rounds," "Outside") ***

Spilligion [Dreamville/SinceThe80s/Interscope, 2020]
The only previous album by this Atlanta collective was 2016's beguilingly titled and indeed conceived Bears Like This Too Much, but as Covid came down they reconvened in a house owned by rapper C.I.D. I knew only rapper 6lack, whose 2019 album had the good taste to carry his daughter in a snugli on the cover, and warm-hearted Mereba, who closed it out by blaming his adolescent sins on his male upbringing. After an opening skit where Georgia comic Kountry Wayne explains that Jesus "was crazy as a razor-blade necktie, but he was a master manipulator, so people got behind him," a gospel feel infuses this music. Mereba's "PsalmSing" is uplifting without acting all grand about it and followed directly by the quick-lipped J.I.D. feature "Ea'alah," which somehow moves from "smokin' big gas inside this muthafucker dawg" to prayers for his family to Jonny Venus's understandably cynical projections of who'll get plague treatment first. Then themes get ecumenical: "Judas," "Oshun," "Cupid," "Shiva," and, uh-oh, "End of Daze." But that's not the end. This congregation piles resources on top of resources. Share them. A