Chaz Corridor grew up in Jamaica, Queens, and lays his head in Mattress-Stuy, Brooklyn. However for a number of years he lived together with his grandmother Bessie within the Crown Heights household brownstone, crafting the sound and form of the persona that may turn out to be Elucid, the rapper/producer finest recognized for his work in Armand Hammer. Earlier than her passing in 2017, Bessie was certainly one of his earliest supporters, a confidant who first taught him about Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey, and who listened from two flooring under as he conjured beats and rhymes of their ancestral house. I Instructed Bessie, Elucid’s newest solo LP, is a file of these conjurations, a tribute to her reminiscence that doubles as a press release of identification.
Most of Elucid’s work in Armand Hammer exudes a darkish, murky temper knowledgeable by a pro-Black, anti-capitalist perspective. I Instructed Bessie feels extra summary but equally expressive, with dissociative raps which can be usually rooted in narrative however free from the burden of plot. A latecomer to rock music, he’s professed a love for the chaotic lyrical stylings of the Mars Volta, a band whose disjointed storytelling can appear indecipherable each in spite and in service of the writer’s intention. Elucid’s abstractions are equally each dizzying and profound, obscuring metaphor and intelligent wordplay in a fog of unfastened affiliation: “With emphasis, the spirits say/Each gap converse when the mirrors play/Worry of plague, sense-making cease/Hoof-and-mouth to pox, chasing clocks to mattress/Spin your high and your TV’s reduce,” he raps on “Smile Traces.”
Elucid’s collaborators do extra than simply add shade to his songs; they have an inclination to tug him into their orbit, shaping his personal model within the course of. He’s stated that he finds billy woods (his associate in Armand Hammer) to be extra exact and calculated, whereas Rory Ferreira (his associate in Nostrum Grocers) is a bit jazzier, extra snug with improvisation and embracing errors. You possibly can hear Elucid break up the distinction on I Instructed Bessie, his precision ebbing and flowing with the music, rising extra chaotic because the manufacturing unravels. The album’s manufacturing feels confrontational and uncomfortable, coloured by warped vocal samples, off-kilter rhythms, and hypnotic loops. Even the smoother elements, just like the funereal horn on “Deadlock,” get disrupted by chaotic percussion and different delicate, unsettling parts.
Regardless of I Instructed Bessie’s standing as a solo file, billy woods is deeply concerned, with visitor vocals on 4 tracks and an government producer credit score. woods’ gravitational drive exerts itself on Elucid’s verses, which really feel extra targeted and exact than on the tracks with out him. Any of them really feel like they may seem on Armand Hammer information, however “Nostrand” particularly—with its twinkling piano and horror-film bass line—appears like a Haram outtake. woods’ EP credit score is extra than simply vainness; he manages to sequence tracks from eight totally different producers right into a cohesive temper, climaxing with the analog static of “Betamax,” by which Elucid hints at discovering which means in rhythmic patterns.