K. Sparks - Abstract Jazz
If I were feeling ambitious (and even longer-winded than usual), I could try and map out the process through which Queens emcee K. Sparks evolved from talented up-and-comer into an all-around rap juggernaut by experimenting with subject matter, subgenre, flow, and even vocal impressions over the course of his Manic Mondays series. Now that we’ve reached #47 of 52, I think it’s fair to say we’ve entered into the final stretch—in any case, Abstract Jazz sounds like something of a “transition record.” Originally scheduled to run as entry #46 (before being switched out at the last minute for Identity Crisis), this cut finds Sparks revisiting the mellow, jazzy sound that’s become one of his (many) trademark styles. Bobby Bob‘s piano-loop instrumental (complete with scratches and a switched-up outro not present in the original) evokes a fittingly mellow ambiance as the emcee gets his “abstract emcee” on, hopping between laid-back braggadocio and more sinister lyrical imagery with greatest of ease. Does Abstract Jazz set the tone for the final five entries in Sparks’ series, or is it a head-bobbing detour on the road to uncharted territory? I have no idea, but I do know it’s going to be one dope ride.