Potna, I don’t listen to today’s most popular tunes/I get my fuckin’ subject matter just from watching the news

Baltimore rapper JuegoTheNinety first popped onto our radar in the April 19 edition of 5 On It with his single “American History IX,” a surprising bolt that made lucid use of noise rap aesthetics in a fashion that felt fresh and purposeful. His new album Sonny September plays like an exhilarating, frightening rap collage–an aggressive, drug-laden array of jarring sounds, personal missives, and poignant social critiques that never feel preachy.

This that music you make when you through with your situation/Your mind makes it make sense to drop out and start doing break-ins/I mean that shit as literally as motherfuckers take it

There’s little that resembles it in hip-hop’s current landscape, smart and angrily paranoid one second, hallucinatory the next—all made rooted in the young emcee’s energized flow and unusual images, a style that maintains an unusual vitality through Sonny September‘s runtime.

“I prefer to work on entire bodies of work rather than a song at a time, so that I can create a vivid experience for my listeners,” says Juego. “My process is to continuously recollect things I’ve done, heard, seen, talked about, heard about, thought about, read about, and add a twisted rhyming delivery to it. I like to mix my truths with some fiction and leave it up to the listener to decide what they want to believe about me or what I’m saying.”