R.A.P. Ferreira: bob’s son: R​.​A​.​P. Ferreira in the garden level cafe of the scallops hotel

The latest mosaic from R.A.P. Ferreira, formerly known as Milo, is a dense and affectionate tribute to beat poet Bob Kaufman. The San Francisco based beatnik operated on the fringes, seldom writing down his poems. bob’s son: R.A.P. Ferreira in the garden level cafe of the scallops hotel is a mouthful of a title and rightfully so. The introspective dive into Ferreira’s mind is a vibrant one, erring on the side of brilliant. The spacious production is the perfect venue for Ferreira’s cloudy swarm of expressions. Many of these tracks read like modern beat poetry, existing as portions of genres drawing from folk, classical and vaporwave. Ferreira has found liberation, often aligning his vocal meter with the instrumentation. As a result, bob’s son is wonderfully chaotic in its curation.

Simply put, bob’s son is art rap at its finest. The trajectory of melodies is very much akin to the source material. Ferreira dances around boundaries and expectations, challenging what constitutes rap in the first place. On the surface it’s easy to get lost in the aesthetic- however, the constant shifts of tempo and grooves yield a consistently spontaneous experience. “Yamships, flaxscript” is a sublime example of how bob’s son is both challenging to digest while remaining easy on the ears.

The fragmented nature of the album is certainly one of it’s strengths. There’s only a few times where the mood shift feels a little abrupt. The warmth of the hook-driven, “redguard snipers ft. SB the Moor” is abandoned for a portion that is rather abrasive. The contrast of energy parallels Kaufman’s own unprocessed means of expression. Kaufman’s words narrate small pockets of the album, providing much needed context for some of the headier concepts. His inclusion is poignant on “skrenth”, as his grainy interludes encourage authenticity and risk. Bob’s son is bookended with the cyclical, “abomunist manifesto”, which resembles the repetitive first track, “battle report ft Pink Navel.” Both are abstract by design. Like Kaufman’s poem of the same name, Ferreira’s intent is to inspire as well as deconstruct. This outro may not be quite as literal as the poem that inspired it, but it does share a similar, untamed vitality. Proclamations are set aside as Ferreira contorts and rearranges the phrase “abomunist manifesto” continuously. The simplicity of the approach is both opaque and entrancing. The piece, as a whole, is gorgeous, but not without it’s flaws. One could argue these few blemishes add character to the complex picture being painted.

Rating: 8.7/10

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