Review: E L U C I D – Every Egg I Cracked Today Was Double Yoked (self-released, Aug 19)

It’s a testament to Chaz Hall’s skill as a producer—and as an musician in general—that an album made “while floating between various hotels, airport terminals and bedroom closets” and based upon material tracked using laptop mics and iPhone recordings sounds this lush and fleshed-out. The enigmatic hip-hop creative has carved out a name for himself with a large audience via his work with Milo as Nostrum Grocers and with Billy Woods as Armand Hammer, but his most revolutionary releases, including Cult Favorite’s For Madmen Only and his self-released solo endeavors, continue to fly under the radar. Unfortunately, I doubt that Every Egg I Cracked Today Was Double Yoked will enjoy any greater attention, seeing as it’s probably Hall’s most experimental venture yet, but for fans who enjoyed the enrapturing atmosphere of Shit Don’t Rhyme No More this is a godsend. Some incredible variation is present despite the release’s short length: driving, snare-heavy drum grooves cut through a dense haze to bolster the rapper’s commanding flow on opener “Honestly, Aight,” while on “Colony” it’s his complex, interlocking bars holding everything down while atmospheric sample abstractions reach for the sky. With wonderful surprises like the piercing sax skronk on “Careen” or the glitchy stereo agitations of “A Gruv,” Every Egg… is yet another document of a truly inspired artist, who is certainly one of the highlights of the thriving hip-hop underground.