Black Milk

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Photo by Sandy Carson

Black Milk

Auditorium Shores, Nov. 4

Though Jon Laine, subbing on drums for Black Milk's always on-point band, may not crash with the same bravado and flash as longstanding seat-holder Daru Jones, dude still pops vintage J Dilla snare perfect for a live hip-hop set. Black Milk knows it, too. The Detroit native gave his band ample time to flex Midwest basement muscle, queueing up two jazz breakdowns on "Give the Drummer Sum" that proved this outfit one of the tightest in hip-hop. In song, the fourpiece shook just as hard. Four albums in, plus the Black and Brown! EP, a collaboration with fellow Motor City rapper Danny Brown out last week, Milk's now as skilled on the mic as he is behind the boards. Whether flipping another batch of soul on "So Gone" and "Try" or hitting the crisp fury of Album of the Year ("Keep Going," "Distortion"), Milk's full-bodied vocals cut deep with precision and flair. He's in short company as an architect of song and show, and hip-hop would be better off if people paid more attention to the work he puts in.

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Black Milk

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