With Q-Tip off on a jiggy rock-star mission, his "abstract poetic" title is up for grabs, and Ypsilantis own SUN is a top contender to do the grabbing. His lyrics switch subjects at a rapid pace, weaving together themes and styles, from battling weak MCs to social commentary, but all coming together to make perfect sense. While his first solo album, Shining Underground
, was on a jazzy, early Native Tongues vibe, this release has more diversified beats to match the rhymes. The Flinttown funk of "Cosmic," sparse headbangers such as "Black Quarterback" and "Shine Like the Sun," and interludes featuring live band Prhyme Numbers make for a unique combination of musical backdrops. SUN knows who to let behind the boards, but also who to share the microphone with, guesting a slew of Midwest underground all-stars, including Chicagos Juice and O Type Star on the beautiful "Radiate" and One Man Army (of Binary Star) on "Writings." By surrounding himself with talent and taking musical risks, SUN has made this School of Thought
a complex, well-rounded curriculum.