Crying Crystals

Crying Crystals

“I’m trying to be stress-free,” Haviah Mighty declares on her second proper album, and you can’t really blame her. The Brampton, Ontario, rapper’s previous two releases were nothing less than history-making: Her 2019 full-length debut, 13th Floor, made her the first Black woman—and first hip-hop artist—to win the Polaris Music Prize; 2021’s Stock Exchange mixtape made her the first female recipient of a Juno Award in the rap category. On Crying Crystals, she alleviates her stress in the best way possible, by spitting fire over 13 tracks that fuse old-school fury with new-school sounds: “Sensational” is a take-no-prisoners smackdown of a toxic ex-partner that glides smoothly at an accelerated “Boy’s a Liar” clip; “Zoom Zoom” (a duet with her sister, singer Omega) is a patois-laden expression of desire set to writhing amapiano rhythms; and “All the Time” refashions trap swagger for a hyperpop world. But Haviah’s in-your-face attitude belies her emotional vulnerability as a lyricist, a quality that comes to the fore with the lovelorn, island-bound R&B of “Room Service.”

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