SERENGETI & SICKER MAN – Doctor My Own Patience (Graveface): Experimental rapper forgets to rap experimentally. David Cohn’s aka Serengeti’s latest collaboration with producer Sicker Man lands firmly between their last outing Saal—a largely acoustic world where Geti’s lyrics roamed uninhibited, a departure from his usual comical stints as the O’Doul’s-loving Chicagoan Kenny Dennis—and Cohn’s other 2016 collaboration with Why? frontman Yoni Wolf, Testarossa, which tried to marry a cohesive story to Geti’s stream-of-consciousness. But where Saal and Testarossa were relatively musically restrained, Sicker Man goes all-out Stranger Things-style synthtacular, and Geti follows suit.
The prize here is “Boy,” where Serengeti latches onto a phrase (“Boy I’m crazy for you”) and repeats it over and over, throwing it around and coming up with other lines that rhyme but have no immediately discernable contextual connection with the root phrase. It’s this weird, almost trance-like repetition that, when coupled with Sicker Man’s anxious, throbbing synths, creates a kind of dreamworld, or not quite—somewhere in the ether of waking life and sleep, and glimpsed only for a moment before it disappears. It’s where Serengeti’s tried to dwell for several of his more recent albums, as though he’s trying to hypnotize himself with some bizarre ritual—like if he can assemble the right combination of bizarre and seemingly unrelated phrases into a certain string it will open up a spiritual plain to which he’s desperate to gain access.
What he’ll find there I don’t know. But given there’s not much pattern to his trajectory it seems he’s willing to try almost anything to achieve it—which means singing instead of rapping, experimentally or not. B PLUS (**)
Yoni & Geti – Testarossa (Joyful Noise ’16): A MINUS
Perfecto! – You Can’t Run from the Rhythem (Joyful Noise EP ’15): B PLUS (***)
Serengeti – Kenny Dennis III (Joyful Noise ’14): A MINUS
Serengeti – C.A.B. (Anticon EP ’13): B PLUS (*)
Serengeti – Kenny Dennis LP (Anticon ’13): A MINUS
Serengeti – Saal (Graveface ’13): A MINUS
Serengeti – Kenny Dennis EP (Anticon EP ’12): A MINUS
Serengeti – C.A.R. (Anticon EP ’12): A MINUS
Tha Grimm Teachaz – There’s a Situation on the Homefront (Breakfast ’11): A MINUS