We love lunch!
Josh Langhoff: It’s a thin line between hypnotic, narcotic, narcoleptic, and then just uttering an endless bunch of eighth-note syllables ’cause you’re about to topple over to the floor and you can’t stop yourself. What were we talking about?
Jonathan Bogart: I bet someone’s already written about the thirty-year drift from rappers with booming, authoritative voices like Rakim, Chuck D, or Ice Cube to rappers who slur, hiccup, and release their words as commandingly as they let smoke escape their lips, and better than I could. But as someone for whom rap has always been the sideline rather than the main event, Rashad’s genial delivery stands out as qualitatively different from the rap I grew up hearing, in a way that I’m still not entirely used to even as I recognize that it’s entirely of the present moment.
Alfred Soto: Two years after Cilvia Demo, this purr-voiced Tennessean reminisces about summers spent in go-carts, Steel Reserve, and getting head or perhaps daydreaming of head, to the accompaniment of rim shots and guitar ripples. The last verse is a promise, not a valedictory.
Ryo Miyauchi: The bumpy chorus got a lot of fun words to pick apart, but what makes this song stick for me are the names, places and slang Isaiah Rashad scatters throughout his verses. “Cool as me front of Kanku’s store.” “In my hood, we call it buck.” “Free Lunch” plays best as a scene- and atmosphere-setting exercise, and not much else, but the breezy beat blows a faint, delightful flashback laced in the smoke.
Gin Hart: Unspooling languidly, but not lazily, the sound is ripe with un-selfconscious intimacy — a quick mind kicking back. A thick summer-on-the-porch sound. The instrumental is golden, sensuous, muted without haze or buzz. The lyrics have one foot on mundane solid ground, dipping the big toe of the other foot in a neutral-tone surrealist dreamscape.
Iain Mew: “Today was… a keeper:” hesitant, put-upon, but ultimately positive; a picture of the song and its oh so constructed atmosphere in miniature.