All Is Yellow
A yellow curtain ripples and parts to reveal a strange world inhabited by strange people in retro attire. No, it’s not the latest David Lynch joint, but the extended cinematic universe of All Is Yellow: the first compilation album curated by Cole Bennett, the 27-year-old director and founder of Lyrical Lemonade, the company behind a decent chunk of the last decade’s viral rap videos. (Naturally, a music video accompanies each of the 14 tracks; not the easiest feat for a project with 34 featured guests.) The album functions as a handy primer for anyone who’s slept through the last 10 years of hip-hop zeitgeist, from angsty drill to “mumble rap” to the gloriously incoherent fractal that is rap in 2024. Here, absurdist Detroit scam-rappers trade bars with solemn Chicago drill vets (BabyTron and G Herbo on “Equilibrium”) and two generations of melancholy balladeers find common ground (Kid Cudi and Lil Durk on “Guitar in My Room”). True to Lyrical Lemonade form, Easter eggs abound: After the late Juice WRLD and Cordae join forces on “Doomsday” for a shockingly great impression of Eminem circa ’99, the real Slim Shady shows up for round two. And on “First Night,” verses from Juicy J and Teezo Touchdown are capped off by a blissed-out “birds and bees” monologue from Lil B the Based God.