The Week (US)


- Pray for Haiti

“Mach-Hommy is special,” said Tom Breihan in The Haitian-born Newark, N.J., rapper wears a mask, as a griot storytelle­r does, to guard his identity. His mystique owes more, though, to the fact that he “raps absurdly well,” delivering “dizzying” punch lines with a flat affect that underscore­s his “sharp and inventive” metaphors. Mach “never raises his voice, but he makes it absolutely clear that he can fully weaponize language, and it’s an exciting thing to behold. Few of his peers put together words in such distinctiv­e ways.” Pray for Haiti marks Mach’s reunion with Westside Gunn, said Paul Thompson in Gunn’s Griselda Records collective, which once included Mach, still stands at the forefront of hip-hop’s gritty boom bap revival. The noirish beats the team has collected here are “varied enough to draw out of Mach each of his many styles,” whether he’s slipping into Haitian Creole, singing sorrowfull­y, or snapping out “tongue-in-cheek venom.” This is self-portraitur­e of a sort, “a collage rendered in full.”

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