Fronted by Odd Future members Syd Bennet and Matt Martians, The Internet has slowly been building up a reputation for themselves in the hip-hop underground, and quite frankly, for good reason. While some of their previous work has been difficult to get into, their 2015 release, Ego Death, was excellent and established them as one of the most skilled up-and-coming acts, with an exciting blend of neo-soul-inspired hip-hop and live instrumentation. After this past year, where every member of the group took time to release their own solo projects, they’ve come together (rather appropriately for the title) for their fourth studio record, Hive Mind.
So, how does Hive Mind stack up? Is it another addition to the group’s critically acclaimed discography or is it nothing more than a headache? Honestly, this album is nothing less than terrific. This is a record that shows a group nearing their highest potential, individually and as a group, anchored by impeccable basslines, vocal interplay and lyrical prowess that they’ve ever done.
With Hive Mind, The Internet have crafted an album that utilizes all the group’s strengths and enhances them with more potent lyrics and their always-unique sense of groove that make this their most accessible and interesting listen yet. I won’t say this is as good as something like Ego Death – which, I’ll fully admit, had a bit more production cohesion and interesting drum work to it – but Hive Mind absolutely deserves your time and attention, no matter your genre preference is. Groups like The Internet are changing what R&B sounds like, and in the process, making hip-hop better.