Black Milk – No Poison No Paradise (Album Review)



It literally feels like it has been forever since we’ve had a new album from Black Milk. Whats even crazier is that I get a new album from one of my favorite producers this month and Satch gets a new album from one of his favorite producers, Oddisee, as well. I’m kind of anxious to hear what this new Black Milk sounds like so let’s dive into it.

Interpret Sabotage ft. Mel

I liked how it started off with the keyboard but then it switched to this beat that sounds like more an outro than an intro. I’m glad he comes with that classic Black Milk flow opposed to the flow that I’ve heard him use on some recent features. It’s a decent song but its not at the level of 365 or Long Story Short.

Deion’s House

This joint has that Keisha’s House feel to it or I may just be thinking about that song because of the title of this one. This one is jazzy and I’m feeling it. I like how the chorus is very subtle and it’s easy to listen to. He uses this song to share some of his life experiences and how he starts off his music career. Short and sweet, I can vibe with that. That outro was sick, it draws you in and makes you curious about what’s to follow.

Codes & Cab Fare ft. Black Thought

Such an exotic vibe is created by the sounds used in the background. The organ definitely takes the song to a dark place.

I’m from the D where everything is very Do or Die

Black Thought ripped as usual. His verse was interesting because he shared several compelling thoughts about who he is in the world.

Ghetto Demf ft. Quelle Chris

I don’t like when his beats start off like that, it sounds like it just doesn’t have enough sounds to make something interesting. I think this is one of his most creative verses thus far though. The distortion of his voice and his tone and the isolation when he talks about the hustle. The features that I have been hearing with Quelle Chris lately have been on par. I fux wit this track.

Sonny Jr (Dream) ft. Robert Glasper & Dwele

Definitely wasn’t feeling how this joint started off but as soon as the drums came in I knew I was in for something delightful. I like how the horns are used in this song because they are mellow opposed to deep and loud like they are usually used. All the instruments are on the same level, which makes the overall product sound so smooth. It was refreshing to hear something like this from Black Milk.

Sunday’s Best

I love that intro, so soulful. The way he describes his Sunday mornings before going to church and his experience in church was so descriptive. There’s part of the verse that each of us can relate to.

Monday’s Worst

The beat has a drowsy mood to it and I think it captures the feel of Mondays. The story he tells helps to bring the listener into his world for a minute and kind of get a taste of how he’s feeling and what he’s going through. It was only natural for that sound excerpt to be placed in the song. The breakdown at the end of the song was so funky!

Perfected on Puritan Ave

Goodness! It’s beats like this that remind me of why I enjoy listening to Black Milk. The elements of the song are soulful, electronic, and funky at the same time. His verse was kind of descriptive and he only touched on his experiences just a little bit. The climbing of the bass created a melody for the rest of the instruments to lazily ride along to. Again you get to hear the use of the horns in a way that they are not usually used. The switch was very experimental. The format or structure of the song is what kept my ears trapped.

Dismal

If this joint don’t sound like the perfect beat for Danny Brown idk what does. The production reminds of one of the levels in Super Mario Bros. He uses the verses to show that he still can come with it lyrically. He describes the struggle that he has proving himself. He uses his background to relate to other people’s struggles as well. I would have to say this song would probably be the audio representation of the album artwork, it’s kind of spooky and adventurous.

Parallels ft. Ab

I know that the beat contains a sample or he played the melody of the another song using different instruments, but I can’t recall that particular song at the moment. I like this song because its easy to listen to and he talks about his relationships with women. He moves away from the subject matter that he has been discussing in previous songs. It’s something different for this album.

X Chord

Just a little something to two step to. It’s truly an interlude but it matches the concept of the previous song.

Black Sabbath ft. Tone Trezure
Another song with a gloomy type of melody that could represent the album artwork. The drums are so hard though, so pure. This joint make me want to throw on Tronic.

reach for the stars ungh my arms not long enough

Its a song about going for what you want because life is short. Its about taking advantage of opportunities and getting up and getting yours. That excerpt at the end was perfectly placed.

Money Bags (Paradise)

The production is so sci-fi. It’s a song about the hustle. It’s crazy how he taps into his life and brings the listener situations that they can relate to.

1st of the month, mail box you watching


Crazy. You can tell that everything he is saying he has either gone through or knows people that have gone through it, you can feel how real it is through his tone. The question posed by the song at the end was enlightening.

Conclusion

Not quite Tronic or 365 but as a project on it’s own I think that it is solid. He could have left some of the features off and been a little bit more experimental. I was glad to hear some growth especially on that way that he structured some of the songs. The songs where it was just instrumentals surprised me and I was genuinely impressed. Lyrically the album was focused about his life in Detroit and some of his experiences. I can’t say that I was expecting more creativity from Black Milk but I would loved to have seen more. All in all I would recommend this album for a download or stream. It’s something to play while you’re chilling, cleaning up, taking a long ride, or something like that. You can let it play all the way through.

Rating: 7.0/10

Top 3 Fav Songs: Deion’s House, Sonny Jr. (Dreams), Perfected on Puritan Ave

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