Right in time for the most catawampus Fourth of July in American history probably since the original and our ongoing Coronavirus summer, Buffalo’s hip hop scene delivered not one but two vital albums for our long, hot summer, Westside Gunn’s latest, which we’ll leave to Pitchfork now that the Grizelda crew has gone supernova; and Planet 9, a  gloriously shiny and irresistible collaboration featuring emcees way2wavybaby and Chango4 that’s chilled out yet laser sharp, and a very encouraging glimpse of the future. If it feels like the ground is moving beneath  our feet that’s because it is, and way2wavybaby and Chango4 are part of this seismic shift.

You love to see it: artists explicitly breaking down the exclusionary and oppressive limitations of old paradigms to get and be free, and the aspirational, DGAF lyrics and hypnotic grooves of Planet 9 feels like a welcome manifestation of this phenomena. Gen Z emcees like way2wavybaby and Chango4 aren’t prophets of rage but they are the prophets of our present and the future they’re trying to create, and it’s truly beautiful to behold.