With "Subterranean Sweatpants," Moses Rockwell keeps his trend of coming out with at least one project a year. I'm honestly surprised that he can keep up the pace considering just how much substance he brings to the table. Rockwell clearly leans more than most toward left-field hip-hop, allowing his dizzying word play and snarky lyricism to exist over psychedelic vocal samples, midnight lo-fi beats, and heavy jazz interpolations.
I'll admit I went in skeptical, but Rockwell won me over with incredibly clever bars and razor sharp delivery. The song "Aperture," featuring Giant Gorilla Dog Thing, is a great example, with hilarious bars throughout the whole track and ending off with a great punchline. The hooks on this album are hypnotic, calming, and measured. The verses have intense subtleties — a beat break after a punchline, a sample piercing through referencing previous lyrics, etc.
The record doesn't hit me with something I've never heard before, but the level of detail on every song is on par with — if not surpassing — all of the things I hear coming out of Hellfyre Club, Milo, Busdriver, and so on. The performances by him, Gary Lamaar, and others really came together to create what is no doubt one of Rochester's best hip-hop releases of the year.