Paper Route Gangstaz

Fear and Loathing in Hunts Vegas

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This record is sleek and druggy, hot and melancholy, an almost alchemical success. Diplo and DJ Benzi mix the best of this Atlanta collective's plaintive rhymes against the Block Beataz' headiest production work, a rap aesthetic that recalls both Rihanna and the Field in equal measure but, strangely, shirks what might've been an obvious Timbaland comparison. It's a robust and oddly soothing sonic experience, ticking in hi-hats and playing with synth lines with an assured and unexpected sense of long-playing rhythm. A stretch of remixes at the album's end even feels like a natural extension of the tracks that preceded it rather than merely an addendum. Complementing the late-night, black-lit production is a swirling cabal of faceless voices, issuing braggadocio at once commonplace and vaguely hallucinatory (in a teasing whine: "Every time a player hate my rims hit a growth spurt!"). The result is a fascinating document of a genre in flux: headphone hip-pop, equally esoteric, silly, and sublime.