Who Told You to Think? is the new full-length from iconoclastic East coast rapper Milo. As one of the emerging voices in 21st century hip-hop and the modern state of experimental music, his record label Ruby Yacht has become the proper home for his musings, ruminating a culture of sonic beauty and surrealism through wordplay. Features come in an abundance of variety, including Los Angeles' homegrown living legend Busdriver, the wild styles of Signor Benedick the Moor, and the universal wisdom of Freestyle Fellowship's Self-Jupiter. New York's Elucid and Youngman take part during the first half of the album, with cohorts Lorde Fredd33 and YCP Beno representing Milwaukee's creative corridor in the second half.
With 2015's So The Flies Don't Come sourcing its production foundations from the highly skilled and venerable Kenny Segal, Who Told You To Think? expands the sonic palette and the minds behind each track's beat. Production credits include Milo's alternative music path known as Scallops Hotel, Low End Theory's DJ Nobody, frequent collaborator Kenny Segal, Detroit's Illingsworth, and CoryaYo and Harris Cole, two rising names in Chicago's underground music scene. Where So The Flies Don't Come was the door opening, Who Told You To Think? is the ascension and voyage through new terrain. Found in gardens of intricate tones and soulfully abstract beats, vortexes of unique meaning spiral from Milo's pen.
The production elevates the lyricism and is unique from track to track, supplied with the backdrop of varying samples, harp, flute, keys, guitar, electric bass, violin, synth, and many other instrumental elements. It's an adventurous travel from beginning to end, finding abstract connectivity through the philosophical lens, allowing for alteration of perception and the passage of openness. There's an abundance of peaks and valleys, where subtle and panoramic elements coalesce, emerging as one through the symmetry of soulful grooves and tightly laced vocals. The phrasing and word passages derive sonic value that can be felt outside of the deep meanings, pouring out saxophone like tentacle movement that taps into the abstract extension of color and form through wordplay.
A small but striking slice of quintessential knowledge from American novelist, essayist, poet, and social warrior James Baldwin initiates Who Told You To Think?, jumping out of the gates with a sense of boldness that meshes perfectly with the album's overall feel. Lifting into the aerial view, the 15 pieces speak the language of experimental hip hop's soul, bringing that energy forward and adding to the evolving chapters of the genre's legacy.