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Black Encyclopedia of the Air by Moor Mother

Moor Mother

Black Encyclopedia of the Air

Release Date: Sep 17, 2021

Genre(s): Electronic, Experimental, Rap, Spoken Word, Avant-Garde, Underground Rap, Poetry, Political Rap, Left-Field Rap

Record label: Anti-


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Album Review: Black Encyclopedia of the Air by Moor Mother

Exceptionally Good, Based on 2 Critics

Exclaim - 90
Based on rating 9/10

In late 2020, Camae Ayewa (a.k.a. Moor Mother) released BRASS with the supremely underappreciated rapper Billy Woods, initiating a move from subterranean experimental and jazz-inspired spoken word into more rhythmic phrasing. On her fifth album, Black Encyclopedia of the Air, Ayewa pulls together a collection of underground hip-hop artists to help create something more digestible without sacrificing an ounce of her boundary-pushing, political, or adventurous spirit. For example, the haunted chopped-and-screwed "Obsidian" features a genre-bending verse from Pink Siifu, tackles domestic violence with honest lyrics, and finds Ayewa channelling Caribbean dark magic in just 90 seconds.

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Pitchfork - 79
Based on rating 7.9/10

Camae Ayewa, aka Moor Mother, has spent the better part of a decade becoming the poet laureate of the apocalypse. So it's strange to hear the Philadelphia sound artist say, "I ain't got to fight no more. " Threaded through rolling drums and the squealing upward climb of a violin, the phrase that weaves Black Encyclopedia of the Air closer "Clock Fight" together seems to contradict a ferocious legacy of blurring past, present, and future into hissing indictments of history that still left room for hope.

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