Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014

Stream Yo-Dot's Surprise-Laden EP, "A Winter's Ration"

By Evan Rytlewski
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For a rapper who introduced himself as an easy-to-pigeonhole hard-head with a clear reverence for tough, '90s, New York-style rap, Milwaukee's Yo-Dot has spent the last few years doling out surprises. His last couple of albums, 2012's Red Mist and last year's Sherman Park Memoirs, were some of the richest local rap releases of the new decade, touched by forward-looking production choices and unexpected pop plays that proved Yo-Dot isn't just another traditionalist stuck in the past.

That open ear carries through the rapper's latest EP, A Winter's Ration, which opens with one of his most surprising tracks yet, the Hart Gunther-produced "I'm On It." There's a distinct OVO vibe at work in Gunther's rippling synths and frosty R&B accents, but nobody will mistake it for a Drake joint: As always, Yo-Dot brings a ferocious, clenched-grip intensity to the song, squeezing tension from even the smoothest track. Though the bulk of the EP is a beats-and-rhymes affair, it closes with one last curve ball: the bluesy, Lex Luther-produced "Witching Hr," which closes this quick listen on a fittingly wintery note.

Stream or download A Winter's Ration below, via AudioMack.

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