Long Island rapper Roc Marciano is a throwback to a specific hip-hop moment – the drug-slinging detail, blacksploitation beats and sleek self-mythologizing of New York in the Nineties. But his second album will thrill anyone who loves hearing a great writer in any genre do not-nice things to the English language. Roc dolls out psychedelic syllable clusters over sumptuously heavy-lidded beats by local producers like A.G. and Alchemist; "I'm back for the crown, baby/In the Avi' that's brown like gravy/ Style's wavy, lazy eye Tracy McGrady/Deliver like an 80-pound baby," he raps on "Pistolier." It's just one example among dozens: At 33, he sounds like he's been banking killer verses since the last time the Knicks were contenders.
- Roc Marciano
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