Boog Brown & Apollo Brown: Brown Study

Mello Music Group

Detroit native/Atlanta resident Boog Brown is one of a rising crop of local X-chromosome'd MCs. But while her femininity colors her music, it doesn't define it. Brown Study, her artful new album with producer/fellow Michigan native Apollo Brown, is an electrifying portrait of two emerging stars. The Brown-on-Brown collaboration began as a joke (it was envisioned as a "UPS album," i.e., "What can Brown do for you?"); the result is anything but. Apollo's backing tracks are pure, oozing liquid; like many young DJs, he owes a great debt to the late J Dilla, but like very few he does Jay Dee's retro-futurist vision justice. And behind Boog's admittedly staid delivery is an extremely gifted poet who knows you don't always need fire to burn. Brown Study isn't perfect. It flirts with uniformity and seems more like a mixtape than an LP. But my curiosity has been piqued. To both Browns: You have my full attention. (3 out of 5 stars)