A MAN never short of ideas, Devonte Hynes marshals his inspirations into an “honest look at the corners of black existence”.
The multiplicity of genres and switches of pace are initially dizzying – soul, acid R&B, verdant Prince-like arrangements – but on later listens Negro Swan sounds like an album rather than a mixtape.
The record’s strong opening third features Wurlitzers, flutes, Puff Daddy duelling with TeiShi, and the lovely, multifaceted Jewelry.
Speech samples provide encouragement throughout, but in Runnin’, Georgia Ann Muldrow’s sublime guest vocal does so with towering force.
Hynes’ vision and vulnerability make him a rare bird.