Here’s the thing about Droog: He releases a ton of stuff, and he never says the same thing twice. That’s a rarity. I complain a lot here on my site about the seeming compulsion of modern artists to release every single thing they every think of. The lack of editors leads to overstuffed oversaturation, and it means that discerning listeners quickly lose interest. So it is to Droog’s credit that he can push out 2-3 albums a year and never repeat himself.
He’s one of the best rappers around today.
“Time” is a concept album. And let me say something about that: Rap concept albums are always strung together with some kind of between-song clips. And usually they are the kind of things you wish had their own track number–so they could be easily skipped. Time is no exception. The idea of the album is that Droog has a magic time machine and visits himself as he progresses through his career. Lots of people have made these kinds of retrospective records–notably, Jay-Z’s Black Album. Droog’s is good. And it’s a good concept for an ex-NYer like myself, hearing about train graffiti layups, old ’90s foundational hip hop (including name-dropping Jean Grey’s amazing Breathe Easy track)J, and life in Brooklyn neighborhoods. I’m curious if people who didn’t grow up there will relate–but I suspect they will. Droog has the ability to universalize his experiences. So sitting through the between-track sequences isn’t too painful.
A word about features: There are a few, and they’re good. Some are excellent. Elzhi is always good. MF DOOM was often phoning it in at the end of his career, but his verse on Dropout Boogie is one of his best features ever. Blu and Mick Jenkins are strong contributors. Droog seems to inspire his collaborators.
Overall, this is yet another excellent contribution to an excellent catalog for an excellent rapper who may never be a household name, but who will always get plays here at Berkeley Place.