Methotrexate — Camelpacks & Battlerapz

While “Camelpacks & Battlerapz” is no doubt the creation of similarly humble production (albeit as professional and warmer), he digs deeper than your average upstart MC. This standout hip-hop record is seemingly the product of consuming just as many jazz records and cult films as mixtapes, and it’s as studious and labored over as a Grizzly Bear record ... just a hell of a lot more vicious.

Meth is clearly a disciple of the Odd Future set (doing proper tributes in the blazing “MethoKombat” and especially in the distorted 8-bit thump of “Starvin’”), but he doesn’t stop at skateboarding, vandalism and general destruction. The two-party “K.R.E.A.M.” subtly nods at Wu-Tang Clan; elsewhere, soulful beats wink at A Tribe Called Quest, Digable Planets and Thelonious Monk.

If nothing else, Methotrexate is the sharpest, most deliberate stoner around, fitting most snugly alongside the emerging class of whip-smart weed rappers like Curren$y and Smoke DZA. Even as he recalls any of the aforementioned talents through this eclectic, but cohesive collection of tracks, he rarely sounds even remotely like an imitator.

Rather, he crafts a signature style over the course of “Camelpacks” that’ll frustrate anyone trying to guess where he’ll go next. That is the charm of this victorious debut. —Joshua Boydston

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