BlackenedWhite is the second album from MellowHype, a collaboration between Odd Future members Hodgy Beats and Left Brain. Initially released as a free download last fall, the album has been stripped of a third of its tracks for a physical release, adding only two new tracks to make up for the six that were pulled.
For those who missed it the first time around, the over-the-top violence and vulgarity on BlackenedWhite is in line with other Odd Future offerings. “Gunsounds”, where Hodgy Beats rhymes about filling someone with holes over the sound of cocking guns, is a solid descendant of gangsta rap’s golden years. The influence of groups like N.W.A. is never more present than on “F666 The Police”, where Hodgy Beats, Left Brain, and Tyler, the Creator trade verses about shoot-outs with the law. Left Brain’s straight-forward production keeps things moving well, and his skills are best showcased here on “Loaded”.
From the original release, “Chordaroy” has been removed due to the legal issues surrounding Earl Sweatshirt’s vocals. Additionally, tracks “Hell”, “Stripclub”, “Loco”, “Based”, and “Gram” are lost from the reissue, presumably because of sample clearance problems. They’ve been replaced with two new songs: “64”, a bold horrorcore track that was recently released with a particularly creepy music video to promote the reissue, and “Igotagun”, a welcome injection of speed into an album that moves a bit slow at points.
The reissue of BlackenedWhite comes as a missed opportunity. Odd Future followers will likely have grabbed the expanded (and notably better) version when it was available free online a few months back; newcomers to the collective’s output have better entry points elsewhere in their continuously-growing catalog. If you missed the album in its first incarnation, you can add a star to this rating. Otherwise, this reissue is for die-hard fans only.