♫♪  Yugen Blakrok - “Picture Box”

Though she (appeared on the Hiphocalypse mixtape in 2004,) dropped her debut album in 2013 with Return of the Astro-Goth and made the rounds with Strange Famous in 2017, Yugen Blakrok caught perhaps her biggest break last year when she rapped alongside Vince Staples and Kendrick Lamar on “Opps,” which landed on the Black Panther soundtrack. There, she said, among all types of other ill shit, “Spit slick, attack is subliminal/ Flowers on my mind but the rhyme style sinister” (fun fact: she also dropped a DC Comics reference, which ended up getting bleeped). Black Panther was recently nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Original Music Score and Best Production Design (my step-aunt is cooler than your step-aunt) among others.

In all this, I think there’s something to be said for sneaking in the front door (though dosing the town well might be a better metaphor here). You might compare Yugen Blakrok with Kenrick Lamar, but you’ll find even better precedent in the works of Makeba Mooncycle (sister of Sonz of Man’s Prodigal Sunn), like her Earth Power album (which also came out in 2004, coincidentally). Teachings once relegated to the underground have been brought to the fore(ground). Parentheses become unnecessary, constraining, even inapproriate.

Yugen Blakrok’s latest single, “Picture Box,” could also be about using established platforms to dismantle established hierarchies. Here she raps, “Conspiring in secrecy, my ghouls clack chains and exchange theories on other spooks in black books.” I would again qualify that as being among all types of ill shit, except this time it’s the first line of the song! From there, we only go deeper/higher. Subconscious becomes hyperconscious becomes over-conscious becomes collective conscious. You enter Anima Mysterium February 1.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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