Busdriver’s 10th album Electricity Is on Our Side is a project as stunning as it is mysterious. With a runtime of just over 80 minutes, the art rapper and producer’s latest project is a conscious experimental hip-hop album that’s both incredibly weird and incredibly important.
The beats on here range from electronic sounds featuring soothing bells, pretty synthetic instruments and vinyl cracks, to straight up jazz with Busdriver’s vocals following the cadence of a saxophone. Stuttering, distorting and retro-futuristic instrumentals pieced together from weird samples give this album a RATKING or Quelle Chris vibe, but Busdriver boldly carves out his own sound with his cryptic lyrics, which hold the depth and perspective of Kendrick Lamar but posses the abstraction and mystery of MC Ride.
Busdriver raps detailed metaphors that describe what it’s like to not only be black in America, but to be objectified and manipulated by white people, and at times he seems overridden with existential questions of life, death, society and freedom. Utilizing unique and offbeat flows, the way Busdriver delivers these lyrics, from lovably off-key singing to barely melodic speed rapping, and pushes his lungs to the limit sets him apart from any emcee in the game. Busdriver’s Electricity Is on Our Side is the perfect package: a challenge for the mind but a treat for the ears.
Claire Brown is a writer and a total music nerd. She has been writing for MMC since 2018.