Myke Bogan, Pool Party (EYRST)
[INTROSPECTIVE STONER RAP] "Welcome to this crazy mind, suicidal novelist," raps Portland's Myke Bogan in the soupy opening seconds of Pool Party, his deceptively titled new album. There are colorfully psychedelic beats, boasts about "fire bud," and an assertion that Bogan's "new shit sounds like the old Wiz," as in Khalifa, but otherwise, the rapper steers clear of reviving tired, happy-go-lucky weed raps. Bogan's focus instead is on the dark thoughts drugs can produce, as well as the dark thoughts he's trying to suppress with them. It's a captivating conflict throughout. Havoc is wreaked upon his senses ("I need a passport to see the hula girl who lives right on my dashboard") and his personal relationships ("When I pretend to care, she pretends to cum"). The album's superb batch of beats deftly marries the bad-trip back half of Outkast's ATLiens, the stormiest strains of cloud rap and skewed synth-pop as imagined by DJ Screw. There's room for occasional comic relief, provided by Boston goofball Michael Christmas and a few stray punchlines, but Pool Party's strongest attribute is its refusal to sound like an actual party.
HEAR IT: Myke Bogan's Pool Party is out Friday, August 18.