If you are used to hip-hop, rap, R&B and all such urban musical forms taking a specific sonic shape, then Death.wav is here to throw all those expectations out of the window. I wonder if this is the sound of such genres moving forward; perhaps it is more the sound of them moving sideways, into more profound places or some strange parallel musical world.
There will be plenty that sounds familiar, the worldly and downbeat vocal deliveries that are gently falling from rap into the realm of spoken word, skittering and glitchy modern beats, the street philosophies that lie at the heart of the lyrics, the depth, and the darkness blended with cracks where the light gets in. But all these elements are broken up into building blocks and re-assembled as an anagram of what you might expect the music to be.
In short, the album defies expectations. It goes beyond where urban music is today and feels as if it is ushering in a new chapter. It hops genres and breaks down barriers. This is rap music as heard through a drug-fug haze, hip-hop taking a slow and steady course, cocooning and often claustrophobic.
Music is evolving all the time, rap music perhaps more than most, but it is when it takes some unexpected turns and takes you into pastures new (not to mention pastures odd and oddly appealing) that it is at its most potent. And that is precisely what is happening here.