Signor Benedick The Moor - El Negro
Sep 27, 2020 (updated Oct 22, 2020)
My favorite album of all time.

I’ve struggled for a really long time to write a review for this. To create one that I would be not just satisfied with, but also one which reflects of the quality of the album itself feels like an impossible task, and yet something that I find necessary for myself because of my love for it; love fueled from very personalized and subjective sources, often completely separate from the music itself. I’ve spent countless hours toiling over the perfect script, multiple rewrites and shifts in artistic execution, all dedicated for one single album. You could call it obsessive, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But that’s because El Negro is a piece of art that words lack the ability to justifiably describe it. The ability it has to conjure up such a massive plethora different emotions within the listener is too grandios to simply summarize with an off-handed blurb remarking on any one specific aspect of it. It’s the obelisk of a visionary. It’s the most underrated album ever made, and I do not say that lightly. It contains not only the conceptual artistic brilliance of a Bowie or Kanye condensed into a mere 20 year old bandcamp artist, but also executes these concepts with indelible polish. It’s completely engulfed in conceptual maximalism, and theatrical in its beauty, showcasing monumental levels of ambition that only finds itself rivaled by magnum opuses of the genre which it came, like To Pimp A Butterfly or My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I’m dead serious. But despite how complex and initially overwhelming the content is with its dense length, it effortlessly manages to be structurally orchestrated to complete perfection. And within the music itself, while undoubtably rooted in hip hop, the array of musical influences it draws from range so widely extensive that its innovation borders on genre-defying, genre-inventing even. Thespian fusions of midi-based electronic music and fantastical orchestral classical, along with every style of alternative rock imaginable, particularly gothic, emo, & especially punk, which he channels the expressive, youthful vulnerability within the most harrowing moments of the latter stages of the album; even implementing an array of live instrumentation of complex guitar work & drumming. And all of these elements become seamlessly funneled into a single recognizable entity of pure stylized artistry which no other musician walking the planet sounds akin to, despite the constant (and innacurate) comparisons to artists such as milo or Danny Brown. It gives the album such a distinctive “sound” with certain parts of those sounds being used repeatedly with conscious artistic intention to bring reoccurring motifs and instrumentation meaning. With an ethos clearly inspired by Shakesperean aesthetics, the avant-garde excess of theatrics extends to SB’s lyricism; exemplifying deep, poetic abstraction within the heavily detailed narratives and characters created within this proverbial drama of an album, speaking in extended metaphors like tongues. The amount of content with hidden meaning even outside of the lyrical content itself is mind-boggling. Truthfully even I don’t fully understand the entire picture being painted, however the perceived incomprehensibility is what drives my desire to understand even more, along with the fascination of what I already know. And that fascination is a testament to the compulsion this album drives within its listeners.

I see the opening interlude “Zed” as Christian becoming SB, for the album, as the idea of a computer creating a separate persona is something seen developed upon in the music video for H8 Everyone. It’s short, but I think in its vague nature it creates thought-provoking room for the listener’s own interpretation. It begins to lead into a cinematic orchestral interlude, until The Tragic Tale of Bisen Fransisco ingeniously bursts into frame with Bisen Fransisco himself, a hyperbolically aggressive, brash & braggadocious caricature of a rapper (which could possibly represent an exaggerated version of SB’s subconscious desires of the Id) and alternate ego and of SB who kicks off the album perfectly with a wildly electronic, hyperactive introduction to the character filled with off-kilter breakbeats and addictive atonal siren-esc synth leads & bass that make this a fucking banger. It’s not that artistically meritable in terms of lyrical substance or instrumental ambition, but it still sounds fantastic. Bisen’s rapping sounds like the manic chants of an asylum patient and it fits perfectly with how comedic the wonkiness of the beat is, especially when the first line spit is about wanting to hit harder than Micheal Jackson’s father, and the last lines are him devolving into rhythmically yelling about money and fame like a 21st century caveman.

When the orchestral build up shoots back unto center stage, it leads into All Revere [le narrateur] a song working as the true introduction to the main character (hence the title) while loosely describing the odyssey of his “rise from the bottom” both in present tense and during his adolescence. I actually think this is one of the weaker songs, as the pure orchestral backdrop sounds too generic and drab and the lyricism is somewhat cut rate compared to other songs, especially at only two short verses with nothing else to bite on. Aristotelian Reptilian Pavilion (Opening Titles) suffers from the same issues, as it’s another purely orchestral piece, however it differentiates itself as it functions as a purely instrumental interlude between the previous song and the next; which I believe was a more fitting choice for the purely orchestral pieces as without lyrics it can be judged moreso as an interlude than a full song, as it allows them to be more structurally dynamic, and because as a complete song these two are lacking and remain the project’s singular weakness. But I also find it impossible to imagine this without them, because they make for an irreplicably essential opening act of this album. They epitomize “epic” as an adjective, and it’s something you literally cannot find in any other hip hop album.

Call of the Wild is a six and a half minute display of gothic melancholy channeled into pure progressive opulence. The instrumental is a sparce performance of guitar plucks juxtaposed by a catchy drum loop that fuses 808s and live drumming, with layers of reverb drenched on every element. As the song progresses it layers more and more elements within the instrumental, increasing the level of operatic intensity with medieval horn sections and beautifully tragic piano passages between verses, as all of it culminates into the second verse, as each presented idea becomes interwoven masterfully to create a final of epic proportions coenciding to SB’s verse, as his performance too escalates in intensity, both vocally and lyrically, dramatically portraying tribal visions of the apocalypse invoked by the escalating sins of modern civilization. It’s fantastic, as the way in which it pairs with the intensification of the instrumental is done brilliantly, with the final lines being delivered with extreme emotional conviction.

“It’s like there’s blood in the river; really just another human sacrifice
Beezlebub will help you out, and all you do is ask him nice
So you lock the fucking gold, and all you need’s the asking price:
Everyone’s eternal soul, fuck ever having an afterlife.”

It all volcanically reverberates into a chaotic musical infero exactly like the hellish imagery depicted lyrically, violently erupting into a climatic cacophony of marvelous horn and string sections. And within the aftermath, there’s still more. As the first phase begins to fade away, a blisteringly pounding drum solo begins with texture so crisp, as SB starts shredding feedback manically on the guitar to create one of my favorite moments on the entire album. These start to combine with other previous aspects of the song such as the percussive digital snaps and layers multiple guitar pieces atop each other, as it finally concludes by fading away into a jittery black hole of feedback.

Belladonna lays out a complex narrative detailing the trek through the process of the afterlife, along with carrying the existential implications which come with that, like perception of self, perception of one’s past, and the psychological fear of the unknown. This also comes with the ways in which man uses religion as both a coping mechanism and a crutch to process the daunting recognition of the implications of living within the human condition. The portrayal of an God (described as Belladonna) and religion is what is most important and most interesting, with the God being painted as primordially lovecraftian in power, yet motherly in its benevolence; though never directly implied as good nor evil. Each verse begins with the same near identical four bars.

“Blasphemy, asking y'all truistic past king
The spirit in the dark ignites light is one last thing,
To do before the end appears near, painful fears, tears,
Seers strings the scene, never clear but everlasting”

I believe the person taken through limbo can be interpreted as either civilization as a whole, man as a vague & collective entity, rulers of societies, or SB himself. Possibly all three, with each verse being about a different representative going through the same journey. The instrumental is particularly cinematic, with echoed percussion and string plucks, and containing addictively scratchy layers of synthesizers as a constant element throughout its entire run time, being warped and screwed as it progresses. It rushes in during the sonic passages between verses, and after the second verse it acts as the musical focal point for a sparse, choppy interlude that leads into the second phase of the song, being sonically denser via sour, folky guitar plucks and pounding drums, whilst being far more fast paced. It’s easily the best part of the entire song, and it’s complemented by the greatest verse of the three.

“The child clings to momma, Belladonna just regexes
Fear and incontinence, is stemming from the continents
Her heavenly body's ready for hell, and there's a consequence
The war becomes heat, too heavy to bear.
Of course he's scared, and now his incontinence
Only makes his fear far worse, and it doesn't help that his beautiful escort is terse
Actually, she's pretty batsy, he recites tis king and tasking, Momma said "Well, things get rough inside at first."
Her image in his mind is like a curse, pondering perhaps he really should have been first
To tread on easy waters before his uneasy father, his childhood such a bother, she stands with her lips pursed and says…”

I interpret “Mouth of the Beast” as SB’s conflicted urges regarding his suicidal tendencies, with the “mouth of the beast” itself being a metaphor for death. The final lines of the second verse profoundly epitomize the underlying mantra, poetically beautiful as it is haunting.

“'Come to me,’ Cthulu calls humbly.
‘Come to me.’ The voice sounds so comforting.”

Fourteen words with the depth to paint a picture of a thousand. It describes suicidal thoughts like a desparate insomniac, begging for rest. It juxtaposes brilliantly against the beginning of the verse, portraying as SB frantically fleeing from the “mouth of the beast” despite craving it simultaneously, like an awash siren within River Styx. The existential horror of these lines is accentuated by the incredibly minimal, and even moreso atmospheric instrumental; comprised of nothing but a constant, suppressed kick drum and washed-out synth chords and layered, occultish vocals sung by SB himself. But it all comes together when an epic, lone guitar pierces through like drills into the heavens between the two verses in utter magnificence. The song fits perfectly together within the tracklist against the successive Black Blood Avenue, an even more atmospheric and cryptic song, in both structure and lyricism. It’s the most metaphorically indecipherable out of the entire album, even I don’t know what he’s talking about. It doesn’t even contain drums, merely a mysterious, extremely reverb-heavy xylophone loop and a few minimal horn notes, placed sparsely between the three verses which barely even warrant being called such, as they identically repeat the first four lines for each one and are followed up by only eight or so original lines per portion. I don’t mean to portray these negatively at all however, it’s just to emphasize the bewildering esotericism of nearly everything regarding this song. These two songs are the perfect transitional period between the first and the second half of the album, and they do a resoundingly excellent job at invoking the fear of the unknown that they conceptually emphasize so well.

Lecherous, Senseless, Debauchery is the psycho-maniacal restart the album needed after Whomp! A Tale by Charlse Dodgson, which even though it was very good, felt a bit too much like Bisen Fransisco on ADHD medication. LSD only needs two minutes to cement itself as one of the best songs on the album, with a blood-rushing fusion of noise-tinged punk rock and hardcore hip hop in the beat, with this lone, shredding riff bursting through right out of the gates. The way the electronic bass comes in is executed fucking perfectly, only accelerating the hype in your veins. SB’s rapping is energetic as hell across the entire song even if it’s with lines like “Riding in my TARDIS, fuck a pop artist, garlic all in my toes (cause it tastes good!).” or “I’m the shit-Wait, never was an excrement” which are so hilariously dumb that it turns around and becomes unintentional genius. It’s so masturbatory, and that’s ironic because this song feels like sex, or the drug of which it’s named for. And the chorus is the climactic high, as the guitar gets cranked past eleven and it layers even more 808s onto it, and SB channels his inner Bisen within a hook that gets shouted into the abyss. It’s fucking amazing, I don’t even care that it’s not some conceptual masterpiece like the other songs. It just sounds that good.

Poeticism as an Extrinsic Finality is a brief intermission from the main storyline. It’s a cartoonishly cheesy indie rock parody about the tale of his undying adoration for his girlfriend with a comically forced vocal inflection that stains the more he continues, singing about “city girl charm” and “someday i’d marry you” and and other self-aware cliches. Though it’s still a legitimately decent song, and brings something to the album that nothing else does. It showcases one of El Negro’s strongest characteristics: character itself. Personality, more so. The dialogue reflects that strength in one of my favorite bits, with his ACTUAL girlfriend saying “What are you talking about? None of that shit ever happened.” with SB replying “It’s a fucking metaphor. God!”

Audio Manslaughter is the start of when you can really tell the album has started kicking things into overdrive. It’s four minutes but has the experimentation and progression of a Call of the Wild. SB takes different perspectives to make a point about substanceless popular hip hop, and his dissension towards such. You may find him as a slight “lyrical miracle” type, and while it doesn’t help that he actually rhymes those two words within the second verse, he separates himself from pretension because of his platform of legitimate talent & creative approach. The instrumental is organized chaos manifested within the layers and layers of harpsichord arpeggios and dramatic synths and horns, as drums rapidly pound like a flurry of punches to the stomach. It’s reminiscent of digital hardcore at points in its extremity. As does Errybody’s A DJ, which takes extremity even further to the point of a deterioration of sanity. It’s difficult to even describe this song, because it’s more of an auditory manslaughter than the previous track. Off-kilter drum patterns, synthetic horror and a never-ending overload of guitar riffs all filtered through a digital lens makes this equivalent to the psyche of a schizophrenic anarchist on ten doses on whatever drugs Ricky was on. Using music as a metaphor for substance abuse, SB mocks users and straight-edge activists as he accentuates his comical nature further than ever before. These deep cuts are undoubtably the best traditional songs within the album; the energy they bring is just unrivaled.

Bisen Fransisco In: The Iconic Chronic Colonic (The Epic Conclusion You’ve All Been Waiting For!). I’m going to drop the high-gloss vernacular facade for a bit. Holy fucking shit, this track is the epitome of what about this album is “beyond words” because this track is beyond fucking words. It’s the culmination of every interpretive, interwoven storyline within the album fused together in an 8 minute finale of, as the title suggests, Epic proportions. No stone is unturned. It’s every emotion presented thus far rolled into one. Funny. Dramatic. Emotional. Intense. Energetic. Weird. Grandiose. It’s the musical embodiment of SB himself. It’s not physically possible for me to listen to this in full without being starstruck. It begins with Bisen Fransisco’s signature instrumentation slithering onto center stage as it sinisterly begins, with Bisen coughing violently as he proclaims that it’s been 13 songs since you’ve heard from him. It then transitions into a minimal, juke inspired club beat, with Bisen himself narrating his situation of being in the club. He comes off more like a complete madman more than ever, as he details how he unknowingly flirts with a transvestite, drives a drug-infested car home with a date with a name he can’t even be bothered to remember, items, and passes out on xanax before he can even have sex. It’s such a brilliant usage of storytelling, more than just rapping about something that happened and calling that a day on some Immortal Technique shit. Every element is integral, setting the scene, enhancing the immersion further. It’s unadulterated genius in full affect. The hook floods the scene with waves of that oh-so familiar synthetic midi scratch, as Bisen talks about how “this is the story” about his fall from grace, even asking the listener themselves for their change so he can get even more wasted. It puts this imagery of your head of a mentally insane crack addict bothering you at the convenience store. Everything gets layered and layered atop each other and it just furthers that insanity even more. Bisen wakes up in a drug-addled hangover, realizing that his date snuck out and stole all his drugs and money. There’s more off-handed lines about Bisen being completely unable to focus in his high-enhanced idiocy, and what could be perceived as incomprehensible storytelling I see as misinterpreted subtlety of brilliant character depiction. The hook replays once again, and…..This. This is the moment. This is the moment in which El Negro shifts from a great album to an incredible one. This is the moment where it cements itself are more than just an underrated album, but one of the greatest albums of all time. This is the shift where El Negro becomes true art. As the previous beat fades out, a psychedelic, cacophonous soundscape of reverberated piano chords and pitch-shifted vocal modulations echo into a blindingly light sonic abyss of shoegaze-y ambience and transcendent beauty. Piano notes, abstract transitional dialogue, and an emotional impactful midi lead increase the atmosphere even more until it the next instrumental phase explodes at the five minute mark. The psychedelic ambience becomes directed into rhythmic cohesion as an incredibly dense percussive loop of digital drums and miniscule, atonal sequencer & tracker synths proceed each other in rapid succession to a point of simultaneous intangibility and complete tangibility. Bisen is chasing after the girl at gunpoint as he’s on the verge of a complete mental breakdown, with his vocals even further reverberated into the echoes of the sonic abyss.

“Take another step and I'll blast you right there
I know this isn't right, but shit, this life isn't fair
I need another mind cause mine's turning aside
Why am I even talking to you, why the fuck should you
Just put the money down and slowly back the fuck up
I need all the green to cover that I fucked up
Just a few dollars and I'll be back, you'll see
Just thinking how stupid this already all of you with me.”

The final line particularly sticks with me. This verse is contrasted by a separate entity occupying the verses in between Bisen, taking the perspective of an abstract narrator, metaphorically explaining the blight of the human condition in modern society.

“The spider and its web caught in a system of lies
It tries and tries to escape until it realizes
The lies only worsen, because he's that type of person, and those believe in the wild last a long fucking while, stuck at the bottom of the pile, devoid of any and all style, he stares down at the tiles and counts them all in his head
To remind him he's still alive, he takes a stage dive
And drives onto the web looming under his bed
Exasperated, the spider attempts to explain that it just sounds the same, like a child, a mild, playing his only complaints
Without the awareness to realize fairness is only a game, and aside from the pain, nothing ever's really created the same
Tamed, in the cage, the lion stoic and unheard of, and unfazed
Hustle to the act, perform in which he gets paid but
Feeling sluggish, he remembers life before he was slaved.”

It’s speaking about living life out of your own control, being subject by higher powers, and feeling wistful for the days of simplicity in childhood, a constant thematic principle which reoccurs later within the album. The instrumental dampens a bit, becoming more sombre and guitar focused, yet still keeping the emotional psychedelia intact. As the verse ends, SB becomes even more distraught as he screams to the point of intelligibility, only making out a few words as the echoes become even stronger.

“Why won't [?] understand
I want to repent my sins, in the silencing of the lambs
It's breaking through the dam, the voices is ringing like [?], this [?] surprised by all the demands.”

The narrator appears again, commenting once again on the lack of control in our lives through more extended metaphors, ending with the line “At least for now, he looks up with a scowl, perhaps it's an insult personified in an owl, flying fowl.” Bisen’s final verse comes into frame, where the listener finally makes the connection; Bisen IS SB.

“I took one step forward, and twenty steps back
And if it's not for this music shit, I didn't know jack
I would have been better off smoking crack or even attacking but instead I slack off, and now there's now turning back.”

He hates himself. He hates himself for reasons that many other people hate themselves too. The perceived sense of worthlessness, unable to pursue his dreams because of the world he’s been born in and the innate flaws of his character. It’s conclusively depressing, and it finally ends once and for all with the hook of the first half of the song reprising to fit the aesthetic mood of the new phase, except with the adlibs of “No turning back.” after every line.

A Life In The Zoo of Christian Andrew is an interlude of an extremely depressing piano solo, and a scratchy audio clip of what appears to be SB playing New Super Mario Bros. Wii at a family gathering. It’s beautiful in its melancholy. It’s an expression of the desire to live life simpler, once again, without the pressures of what adulthood brings for the citizens of society, especially one which cannot function within said society because of their detachment from contemporary culture. Keep in mind, SB was only 20 when this album released, and most likely 18-19 during the making of it. That nostalgia of playing NSMBW at a family gathering is the reflection of the modern social outcast, isolating themselves in outsider internet culture, in the hopes of finding acceptance in a life where no one else will. Every time I hear the synths kick in, and the tape continue scratching, it’s like a punch to the emotional gut. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have cried to this song before. I’m crying right now, writing this script, if I’m being honest.

.//End. Fucking. Harrowing. This is the song that makes me so emotionally attached to this album. And It really doesn’t have anything to do with the music itself. The instrumental starts of pretty minimally aside from a pretty catchy drum loop and some sparse synths, coinciding with SB’s low-key verse, as he reflects on his life in its two decade entirety.

“Probably a result of no one ever relating so
I started faking, living inside my mind and
Jumping at the first sign of love that I could find
I'm playing like it's cool, like everything is fine
Just waiting for the day when I can shine.
But maybe it ain't coming.”

These are the lyrics that I needed when I first heard them. I’m going to be very personal here; I’m fucked up. I was diagnosed with major depression at 9, I’ve never "fit in" with anybody, even on the internet, and I’ve been at a constant war with myself for years because I’ve always been ashamed of myself because of my inability to express myself properly. That last part is the reason why I even write these reviews. Expression. Because if I don’t then I’m just going to be filled with lingering thoughts all day that I can’t even tell anybody because I don’t have any friends. Last year I felt like I related to nothing and nobody, and to an extent I still do, but it was a far more turbulent and confusing portion of my life, and when I heard these lyrics, I felt like I was being directly spoken to. The idea of fear-driven introversion, the idea of falling in love with every girl you meet because you’re a socially awkward nerd deep down, the idea of becoming so attached to art, the idea of pretending like everything is great and you’re not depressed, and especially the idea of desiring success. Because honestly, that’s all I want. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. I’ve always wanted people to appreciate the art in which I create, wether that be through writing, drawing, video making, music making, etc. I need to create. But it’s a need for fame because of a fixation towards attention and acceptance; two things that I lacked my entire childhood outside of my parents, who I continue to be subconsciously attached to like a child while being a senior in high school despite our deteriorating relationship. The final lines are what really get me.

“This box that we trapped in, what the fuck happened.
Last thing I remember, in my high-chair I was strapped in.”

Fucking incredible imagery. But once the second verse of the song starts, that’s where everything become infinitely more intense. This is personal. This is real fucking personal. This is what “emo rap” must mean to somebody that’s never listened to Lil Peep before. This is one of the most personal and emotionally charged verses I’ve ever heard. The delivery is so real. It’s screamed, screamed at the top of his lungs, paranoid, fearful, all stemming from his depression. The horns that kick in are undisputably the best usage of horns on the entire album, and as the synth shifts key, you’ll be a witness to one of the rawest moments in all of hip hop history. Rawer than anything Danny Brown or 90s hardcore hip hop could ever pull out. This is greater than that. It’s greater than hip hop. It’s greater than music. It’s a piece of performance art so ingeniously constructed that it’s the reason I believe that this is the most underrated album ever created.

“With this money on my mind and music in my soul
Just a couple bars and I feel whole
I stay original, but fuck! You know everyone copies everyone
All my favorite teachers say to say "what's in your belly, son?"
So I did
Sometimes I forget I'm not a kid
Sometimes I regret shit that I did and didn't do
I apologize to younger me, I'm sorry that I'm killing you
Apologize to others sorry rappers that I'm killing too
I'm waiting for the day that I tell 'Ye 'nigga, I'm chilling 2'
And he reply 'I'm feeling u'
Another yellow nigga with another fucking ceiling view
Got these other rappers looking up, they get to reeling too
Two motherfucking decades, I'm ready for the next stage
I'm finished with the first part, I wanna find the best page
Read it aloud to everybody who's in it for the money
Or saying that I should try comedy cause I sounded funny, fuck
I'mma tell all these other niggas 'good luck,'
Cause I'm punk and hip-hop, everybody else is stuck.”

I would’ve put the entire verse if I could. Maybe I’m not a rapper, but I’ve struggled in my own artistic field. Struggling against the other people within that field. It’s what drives me. It’s the only thing that drives me. The possibility that I’ll be able to bring my dreams into fruition. That i’ll be able to make my own animated series one day. I hadn’t related to anything this hard when I first heard it and it’s when the album became less like music to me, and more like a friend. Because really, it’s the closest one I’ve ever had. And it’s incredibly demotivating to see one of my idols become such a mess over the years, but he contains that 20 year old self within El Negro that I just want to give a hug to. SB is shrieking in this verse, fucking howling. When he screams “fuck you” at the top of his lungs after his verse, it’s the best part of the entire album. Bar none. It’s like my chaotic thoughts made tangible through art. And that’s the reason I listen to music such as this. It gives an emotional connection. An emotional connection that I can’t feel elsewhere. H8 Everyone (Enter The Black Prince) furthers this, a bonus track that continues the gothic rock aesthetics of Call of the Wild, with one of my favorite instrumentals on the entire album. SB takes upon a character of a vampiric prince to metaphorically connect to his social isolation, such as requiring blood for sustenance, despite disliking the taste being a metaphor for human interaction, or showing your "fangs" as a means of self expression. The vampire metaphor also extends to its conceptual roots, as the inability to survive in sunlight parallels SB's inability to function within contemporary society. But it's not this which make the track so important to both the album itself, and me.

“Because I really want it all.
To be alone, but not to be alone
To be alive, but not to be alive.”

This is depression. I can’t describe it in any other way, at its core, this is what depression is. Those three sentences encapsulate an entire mental illness beautifully like it was completely effortless. These being the last lines in the first verse lead into the hook, which is the best hook on the entire album.

“I hate everybody. (We hate you too.)”

Repeated and sung so eloquently, that’s what life feels like for me. I hate everybody, and they’d hate me too if I wasn’t constantly repressing myself in the same way SB does. The second verse I feel even more relatability, describing a metaphorical situation with his inner monologue depicted as a character named Siouxsie Sioux, arguing about himself and his perception of reality.

“Wha-Well, maybe I do have like two friends,
But it doesn't really matter, ‘cause no one gets me in the end
‘Well Benny,’ What. ‘How can they get you if you don't talk?’
Well I - ‘I hope you don't expect everyone to read your fucking thoughts’
What are you, my fucking shrink?
Just leave me alone, I need some time alone so I can think
‘What are you, Dense? That's half of the fucking problem you retard’
Hey! ‘Just let someone in, then keeping friends wouldn't even be that hard’
Yeah but they wouldn't understand ‘You never know until you try’
What if it bums them out too much? ‘Well everyone needs a good cry’
What do you know, you're just a figment of my fucking imagination!
‘Well fuck you asshole, if you don't like it change the station’“

My mind is at this constant internal monologue because I try to be as hyper-aware of everything as humanly possible in order avoid looking stupid. I doubt SB goes through the same things, but the feeling of not having a concrete sense of identity due to your own anxiety is still a permeable issue shared. Everything he says embodies the depressed societal outcast inside of me and it’s one of the few things that keeps me going in life, knowing that there are other people out there like me, even if I can’t find them. The hook acts as the outro with a bit more flair, and it eventually bows out in fade, and thus ends El Negro.

What the fuck do I even say? How can I possibly summarize a nine fucking page thesis into a single paragraph? Well, it’s as I said before; this album is beyond words. So I’m just going to say it. Fuck it. If you don’t like this album, fuck you personally, I’m serious, and if you haven’t listened to this, fuck you, go listen to it. Genuinely a modern masterpiece. One of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. One of the most emotionally compelling pieces of art ever created. One of the most creative and experimental albums of the 21st century. There are so many moments of this album that could be interpreted as extended metaphors for different subjects that it's crazy. It's so much deeper than I can even comprehend. There’s literally nothing bad I can say about this album. There's a reason that this album is called "El Negro." It's because at its core, this album is self-titled after SB himself. This is SB's entire persona translated into a musical drama of theatrical proportions. The only thing I can tell you to make you understand why I feel this way is for you to listen to it yourself. And that’s why I wrote this; for people to see how much passion I have towards this and hopefully listen to it. There's a reason why this is the only album I have tagged as "masterpiece." There's a reason why I transcribed multiple songs to Genius without an official lyrical reference. There's a reason why I have the physical CD for this when I never buy physical music. There's a reason I spent an entire WEEK writing nine pages of this. This is more than just album to me, it’s my fucking life embodied into music.

Best Tracks: The Tragic Tale of Bisen Fransisco, Call of the Wild, Belladonna, Lecherous, Senseless, Debauchery, Audio Manslaughter, Errybody’s A DJ, Bisen Fransisco In: The Iconic Chronic Colonic (The Epic Conclusion You’ve All Been Waiting For!), .//End, and H8 Everyone (Enter The Black Prince.)
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1 Comment
Sep 27, 2020
ngl, this is one of the most well-written reviews I have ever read on this website. personal, detailed and emotional, this was 100% worth the read. definitely gonna listen to this one when I have the time
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