An album which, could it be done, reminds the listener of their whispered allegiances to fundamental realities. The brushstrokes are, against what your intuition suggests, delicate, stabbing, pointed. The overwhelming crescendo may be one of bitterness, rightfully so. There is also lightness, a black man is giggling and pointing at you, it may have everything and nothing to do with rap and one’s place in it.
The album vibrates, oscillating between journalistic extremes du jour, occupying a space few have let rap extend to. It is neither cheerful nor depressing, beyond those qualifiers. The rapper, having moved past the limited authority of rejection or ostracization, has arrived at a truth.
What would Gravity’s Rainbow sound like as a rap album? This question wasn’t asked while the album was made but it certainly has to be asked after listening to it. Humiliation, no longer a threat—but a reality, has been exhausted. Perfect Hair is what remains.
The listener has been trained. The listener has developed a palate for the baroque, the garish, the cruel and bloody. The listener has become accustomed to being guided not by ear but belly. Here is an album with the referential delicacy of a snowflake, and the nourishing qualities of that little drop of frozen water. It strains to make a point. Leaving the listener at a loss, stupefied by the risk taken. And at that moment of recognition, it seems to blink itself out of existence. The loss is yours.
And that loss is the motivating factor for what exists on this album beneath thick layers of discarded dreadlocks: a truth. That humiliating losses, communicated unflinchingly, lead one to an insatiable, bubbling hunger: to expand one’s space, to grow.
The refreshing, restorative value of an a posteriori vantage is reaffirmed—experience being the most vivacious source of wisdom and creation. There is an ineffable cool present coaxing your attention and rewarding your insights.
On Perfect Hair, Busdriver defies the betted ante. The pieces, parts, sinews, synapses, synopses, passions, thrusts, and bits burst outward and realign of their own tremendous gravity. It is on this album that an OG announces his presence.