Buck 65

Not so long ago, Buck 65 was having second thoughts about his love of fist-pumping beats, like he was almost embarrassed about being a white Nova Scotia hip-hop kid. Thankfully, he's left this angst-y stage well behind. On his second proper solo disc, Situation, he turns shopworn phrases into trippy metaphors that are more than just inspired nonsense. On the disc's best tune, "1957," he crystallizes a tipping point in Western civilization: "Orpheus descending, swimming in the crooked waters/Hello Sid Vicious, goodbye Brooklyn Dodgers." Chunky as the boom-bap is, sometimes it's just a foil for his lyrical gems to sparkle (e.g. "strippers taking time off, wearing fuzzy-bunny slippers"). Not bad for a kid from Canada.

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