Black Encyclopedia of the Air

Moor Mother - Black Encyclopedia of the Air
Critic Score
Based on 9 reviews
2021 Ratings: #137 / 580
User Score
Based on 127 ratings
2021 Ratings: #354
Liked by 7 people
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With Black Encyclopedia of the Air, Moor Mother uses her genre-agnostic style to tackle to world's most popular genre and make it undoubtedly her own.


It's a wilful shuffle through the space-time continuum, where powerful pearls of wisdom about memory, the future and black injustice pierce the sonic murk.


Black Encyclopedia... is less abrasive but no less urgently meaningful, a fusion of experimental hip-hop, soul, poetry and jazz-etched beatscapes that ebbs and flows around the concept of an Afrofuturist universe.

Loud and Quiet

When the planets orbiting Black Encyclopedia collide, and modern-day corruption is extrapolated into Moor Mother’s spaciousness, the record sounds like a new type of haunting protest music.


Considerably less noisy than previous Moor Mother releases like her 2016 breakthrough Fetish Bones, the album flows through slippery jazz rhythms, mellow R&B vibes, and meditative ambient textures, with Ayewa's lyrics remaining forceful even as she's delivering them in a softer register.

The Skinny

It’s in the curation of the record where Ayewa excels, presenting a platform for black and queer collaborators throughout.


I always feel like an idiot whenever I don’t love a lyrical album because of stuff like song structure and production that doesn’t grab my ear. Like “no shit, bitch, that’s not the point. Look at the incredible lyricism”. But as much as I think Moor Mother’s poetry was incredible as always, I feel like this is probably her weakest batch of beats and overall songs.
Black encyclopedia of the air es el claro ejemplo de lo que me refiero cuando hablo de música que elude los géneros establecidos. Pero ya de aquí se desprenden dos vertientes, que ambas, desde mi punto de vista superan a las propuestas comunes, por no llamarlas comunales, por el simple hecho de arriesgar; esas dos vertientes son las que lo logran y las que no. Sé que esta postura es simplista y reduccionista porque el asunto muestra más mixturas, pero lo hago ... read more
It didn’t move me as much as i would expect, but i still like this a lot. It’s not as abrasive, noisy and experimental as her previous projects, so sonically this is quite a smooth listen. Everything still hasn’t clicked with me, i need more time to process the lyrics. That’s why, my rating might change with more listens. I’ll be sure to update the review if that happens.

Favourite Tracks: Mangrove, Shekere, Made a Circle.

Light Eight /8
Remarkable lyrically, as per usual with Moor Mother, but the instrumentals leave a bit to be desired.
Camae Ayewa is an American poet, musician and activist that creates challenging yet thought provoking music as Moor Mother and her latest album Black Encyclopedia Of The Air is a prime example of her strengths as a creator. Throughout this abstract set of tracks that brings together a large collection of features and fuses together experimental, rap, jazz and soul to bring the listener awareness to the struggle of the black communities and a distrust for the government that has been justifiably ... read more
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Track List

  1. Temporal Control Of Light Echoes
  2. Mangrove (feat. Elucid & Antonia Gabriela)
  3. Race Function Limited (feat. Brother May)
  4. Shekere (feat. Lojii)
  5. Vera Hall (feat. Bfly & Orion Sun)
  6. Obsidian (feat. Pink Siifu)
  7. Iso Fonk
  8. Rogue Waves
  9. Made A Circle (feat. Nappy Nina, Maassai, Antonia Gabriela & Orion Sun)
  10. Tarot (feat. Yatta & Dudu Kouate)
  11. Nighthawk Of Time (feat. Black Quantum Futurism)
  12. Zami
  13. Clock Fight (feat. Elaine Mitchner & Dudu Kouate)
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Added on: July 6, 2021