Busdriver, Fear of a Black Tangent (2005)
“I’m mistaken for the next Kool Keith/Because I interbreed indie-rap acts and groom them at the pet boutique,” rhymes Busdriver on “Sphinx’s Coonery.” As far as tangents go, Fear of a Black Tangent is an elliptically ferocious one, riddled with trenchant commentary on the state of Black art and intellectualism in a decidedly white (or mainstream, if you prefer) environment. Backed with beats by quirky, fantastical producers such as Daedelus, Danger Mouse, and Omid, the album replicates the charming and carefree sound of Busdriver’s acclaimed, Spin-approved breakthrough, Temporary Whatever. But Fear of a Black Tangent is his De La Soul Is Dead, except with fewer in-jokes and more painfully witty and sarcastic observations of the rap industry. Mush.