12 O'Clock Track: Nacho Picasso, "Tool Man"

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Nacho Picasso
  • Nacho Picasso
Lately I've been listening to a handful of rappers who submerge their voices in dark, pulsating instrumentals that seethe with bleak undertones, and I think it's starting to affect my mood. For some reason, that's not stopping me—I've mostly been stuck on Barbadian teen rapper Haleek Maul (who frequently collaborates with locals Supreme Cuts and The-Drum) and Seattle rapper Nacho Picasso.

Today's 12 O'Clock Track is a song I can't get out of my head: "Tool Man," a cut from Picasso's January mix tape Lord of the Fly.

Nacho Picasso portrays himself with a sexual appetite as healthy as his interest in finding inventive new ways to describe it—which is to say, it's quite healthy. There's a fine line between raunchy and rude, and he walks it expertly; Picasso tosses out absurdist rhymes with a biting, raspy flow, variously comparing himself to Vlad the Impaler, Tim Allen's Home Improvement alter ego, and, um, Cabrini-Green. Production duo Blue Sky Black Death—who worked on the entire mix tape—support Picasso's rhymes with murky instrumentals punctuated with frightening interstellar synth flourishes, underscoring the impression that Nacho Picasso is speaking for an unusually perverse part of the id that's gotten its hands on a thesaurus, an encyclopedia, and a television.

Grab "Tool Man" and the rest of Lord of the Fly for free from Bandcamp and keep it on repeat for a while, though perhaps not for as long as I have—maybe take some of the time I spent listening and go for a walk in the sun or something.

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