Black Milk


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A year after Detroit MC/producer Black Milk released the excellent Fever, his first rap album in four years, he followed up with DiVE, a generous EP that expands on the full-length's ideas. While Fever was a tense, fired-up album that covered a multitude of relevant issues, from police brutality to institutional failure, DiVE feels like a pause to breathe and reflect. Without dismissing or shaking off these concerns, he's more focused on healing and personal growth here. "Save Yourself" and "Relate (Want 2 Know)" deliver their messages of self-motivation over smooth, spacious, calmly paced grooves, while "Blame" and "TYME" take inspiration from Detroit's house scene, with more outward-glancing lyrics underpinned by skipping kick drums. "DiVE Pt. 2," the sequel to a choppy, flute-driven funk instrumental from Fever, switches the mood up considerably, with light guitar and synth parts radiating from the track's skittering drum'n'bass breakbeats. While this track feels like a bit of a daydreaming reverie, "Don't Say" snaps the record back into focus with its hardest beat and most immediate message, taking offense at those who don't speak up against anti-black violence. Only six minutes shorter than Fever, it makes sense that DiVE is billed as an EP instead of a proper album, as it sounds largely cut from the same cloth, yet it feels more substantial than just a collection of outtakes.

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