Here it is: The complete thought. The result of committed efforts by XL label head and album producer Richard Russell and the perennially Marlboro-smoking, throaty legend Gil Scott-Heron. We’d be lying if we said we weren’t magnetically drawn first to “I’m New Here,” the album’s title track. A Smog cover, it’s the barest of the album’s songs—even missing the reverb of the brief spoken word asides—and leaves Scott-Heron sounding vulnerable for possibly the first time in his career. Elsewhere, the album ventures into spacey electronics, playground hand clap rap, and, yes, samples Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” for its opening and closing statement. West himself sampled Scott-Heron’s classic “Home is Where the Hatred Is” for Common’s “My Way Home”, so the favor has now been returned. Undoubtedly, this will be one of the most bizarre and exciting records of the year—take a listen. - Stereogum

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