If it’s meaningful songwriting, clear, present, honest lyricism, and poetic delivery that pulls you to hip-hop, look no further. Sylvan LaCue, formerly known as Quest, makes a pretty convincing case that he may well be the most aware and sibylline rapper alive with his most recent release, Apologies in Advance (AIA). The 20-song marathon feels less like a difficult race and more like a brisk walk to the corner store to quench your munchies. It’s as fluid and clean as it is thought-provoking and deep and somehow manages to dance along the thin line that separates albums too playful from those filled with storylines and thematics too dark and difficult to absorb on the daily.

 

More than anything, AIA acts as an hour-long playground of self-discovery, self-help, and self-improvement for the listener and for Mr. LaCue personally and artistically. The album’s entirety will leave you feeling refreshed and clear-minded, thanking Sylvan Lacue for the therapy, and asking for another session in the near future.