Describing Mike Ladd's "Negrophilia" as hip-hop is like describing an Aston-Martin as just a car.
Describing Mike Ladd's "Negrophilia" as hip-hop is like describing an Aston-Martin as just a car. As the follow-up to "In What Language," "Negrophilia" finds Ladd, with drummer Guillermo Brown and pianist Vijay Iyer, crafting an album that infuses elements of hip-hop, jazz, spoken word and electronica into something that can only be described as organized chaos. "The French Dig Latinos, Too" begins with a tepid backbeat and grooving bassline before evolving into a frantic jazz masterpiece. Ladd employs a host of horns and synth sounds on the dance-friendly "Back at Ya." Meanwhile, the bass-heavy "Worldwide Shrinkwrap" addresses how technology has influenced various aspects of society. Each of Ladd's compositions are moody yet ethereal. Named for the Petrine Archer-Straw book of the same name, "Negrophilia," defined as the love of negroes, is more than just hip-hop. Consider it an intensely artistic statement.—RH