Owl Pharaoh has many amazing musical moments: The lurching and clanking beats, the righteously bilious dancehall choruses, the world-ending synth riffs. Scott is, at this point, very much a part of Kanye’s shadowy production cabal, and since Kanye helped him put together Owl Pharaoh, it’s hard to tell which parts of the tape come from Kanye or Scott or Mike Dean or Young Chop. But the production style pulls from reggae and Memphis goth-crunk and Lex Luger blare and moody IDM, turning it all into a monolithic churn that any rapper would be lucky to call his own.
The greatest moment on Owl Pharaoh, by quite some distance, is the thundering single “Upper Echelon,” which has an indelible kinda-yelled 2 Chainz hook and an on-fire T.I. verse and a beat that sounds like your soul burning. “Upper Echelon” is an absolute anthem, the sort of song that exists to cave in your car windows. On the tape, though, the track lasts less than three minutes, and it segways headlong into “Chaz Interlude,” a queasy electro-burble that recalls J Dilla and features Toro Y Moi. It’s a weirdly effective transition, the all-out banger into the seasick electronic curiosity.
|2||Bad Mood/Shit On You||5:18|
|6||Hell Of A Night||3:14|
|7||Blocka La Flame||3:39|
|9||Dance On The Moon||5:14|