After over a decade in the game, with much of the music in his back catalog serving as a weathervane for the political upheaval we’re seeing now, the rapper is having the biggest year of his career, his pressing anarchist raps striking a resonant chord in this politically fraught moment. 2018 has seen four new projects from the intuitive MC: the solo album Shit Still Don’t Rhyme, the EP No Edge Ups in Uganda, produced by Haj of Dumhi, a self-titled album as half of Nostrum Grocers, and Paraffin, his latest album as half of Armand Hammer. Each project has its own tone and sound, but his world-weary voice is at the center of all of them, cynical but empowered.
“I don’t have the privilege to think everything ain’t political,” Elucid raps on Shit Don’t Rhyme No More’s “1010 Wins,” and his music usually bears out that truth. “We’ve got a lot of work to do to dismantle whiteness—on a physical level, legal level, economic level, the psychological level. It runs so deep. It’s so insidious,” he says. “When people say, ‘Why do you always have to talk about race?’ Because race is literally ingrained in everything that we do as Americans. It’s just how this country was built. Total destruction is really the only way. And I don’t know how we get that.”