Marcellous Lovelace Is Infinito 2017
Though it’s common knowledge that hip-hop is a form of poetry, it’s always important to remember that as much as they are the same, they are also different. These differences become clear when we think about free verse poetry that exists without rhyme. Or even when we hang our heads at the lack of success had by spoken word CDs. Or when we hear albums like Infinito 2017’s, Most High Definition.
I don’t think Infinito even necessarily considers himself a poet, rather than a rapper. That’s the issue. As an emcee, unfortunately, you do have boundaries, and techniques necessary to make the music conducive to listening. If not, you get what seems like a poem, or a speech, with music as the backdrop. Two separate entities, neither made with the other in mind, create the dissonant sound that is Most High Definition.
Infinito 2017 has a message though. He tackles topics like self-discovery, police brutality, consumerism, and politics, with an intense, passionate delivery, laid over hard knocking beats. It’s just that they are usually laid on the offbeat, and are often free of rhyme and structure. This has worked in the past for emcees like RZA and MF Doom, but it isn’t as potent here. But after deciphering what he’s trying to convey, I wish it was. I also wish he considered himself a spoken word artist. Then, Most High Definition wouldn’t be as disappointing.
– Jason Reynolds