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Amelation by Amos Miller came out in 2001. This is the kind of album that Spotify would recommend if you were a fan of Macklemore, indeed Mack must have been sharing stages or at least cyphers with Miller during the 2000s. On Amelation, Miller displays a deep, reflective musicality that is absent from lots of hip-hop music. In fact, this release feels like it could easily go cross-genre thanks to the live drums, saxophone, and bass. For even more texture, Isaac Haley adds vocals and plays keys on several cuts.

“Step Back,” and “Tribute” are instrumentals, and “Chicken Song” seems like a cute inside joke which doesn’t really have lyrics other than a single sung line that is repeated a bunch of times. “Rocco Kain” is similar to “Chicken Song,” with only one sung line repeated, but “Rocco” is more serious, and it really creates a moody vibe. Setting aside the “Intro” and “Outro” leaves us with seven rap tracks to enjoy on Amelation.

“Looking at a fraction of the whole frame, content stretch continents,” is a clever line from the wordplay-filled “Paint My Eazle,” which starts the album. The wavy-sounding “9th Floor,” featuring Jamahl Harris is next, and the topics include incarceration and drug abuse. “I can’t let go of the pain that I feel, so I keep it true cause it’s really real.” “Woo Tay Var” displays Miller’s breath control skills, as he busts a frenetic, nonstop flow for three minutes, then lets the beat ride out for another two. “Lord I’ve Tried” strikes a confessional tone, while the lyrics roll with a Nas-inspired style.

President George W. Bush wouldn’t like him or his friends, Miller observes on the slow, piano-based “Nuthins Gonna Stop.” In fact the song refers to Miller feeling like he is “in a police state.” “It Ain’t So Budifal” contains a witty blast of rhymes similar to “Woo Tay Var,” reminding listeners that despite the musical coating to the album, there is still a hip-hop nucleus to Amelation.

For me everything really comes together on “Crickuts.” It’s difficult to explain, but I love songs where things evolve, and some kind of breakthrough or movement happens either musically or lyrically. The song actually starts out with chirping crickets, enhancing the storytelling nature of the track. The sweet background vocals of Nina Granatir complement Miller’s raps perfectly. Well Done. Written by Novocaine132

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