Beatnick Dee & Allen Poe
Like we weren’t going to review our dude Allen Poe’s newest banger. Not only is this dude a joy to work and hang out with, but he has the kind of flow that should make other rappers weep at their own weakness, smooth af because he’s got it. Another friend pointed out how ridiculous it is to identify as “socially conscious,” and that stuck with me, the primary argument that everything is conscious in it’s own way. There is a powerful truth to that that rings out even in Composure, a collaborative joint with Beatnick Dee and featuring a host of guest emcees doing what they do best, each with their own story and approach to their narrative. That vibe continues throughout the EP, an all too short thinker that digs into your skull and requires repeat visits; this is ear worm territory, whether you recognize it or not.
And holy shit this production is boss hog. Take Good Riddance, a track so sultry and undeniable that you are not only cooler listening to it, but you may be even a little better even knowing it exists. The string accompaniment that pops up here is incredibly classy, a brown drink over ice in a crystal glass, your suit swag at full dapper. It’s that kind of world building that Poe and Dee crush here, moving your perception in a number of ways, and by any means possible. Opener Free My Mind (feat. Cashius Green) kicks off the party in the coolest way possible, Poe there with his tux on saluting the crowd as they walk in, casually flexing while you walk past his metaphorical Fleer collection, the most baller of baller moves for 5th grader in the late 80s. When Cashius Green comes in, he somehow manages to kick it up a notch, with a flow like a young Big Boi, someone crushing it at the rap game.
My biggest beef with this record is that it’s too short, which is the best problem to have. Dee and Poe get it that you have to leave the crowd wanting more, and they do just that with a series of tracks that stick with you like the grime on your sticky fingers after some dope ribs. Somehow the pair manage an album of contemplative boppers, classy af, but at times the kind of thing you can sneak into a chill party mix. That’s saying something, to be able to keep your feet in both worlds without sacrificing any one thing. It’s criminal that the world isn’t paying these folks to do what they do, because their art is a masterclass in how to do it.
Listen below and pop your collar.