After the reunion of Antipop Consortium and the stellar album Fluorescent Black, emcee Beans took little time coming back with another solo album. After spending the majority of his recording career with Warp Records, Beans teamed up with anticon. to put this record out, becoming the most high-profile established act outside of the collective to put out an album on the label. It’s certainly a good fit, though, as both anticon. and Beans thrive on pushing the boundaries and expectations that have been put on hip hop.

End It All starts off strong, with “Superstar Destroyer” showcasing Beans spitting abstract braggadocio rhymes over a funky beat layered with synthesizer samples being played backwards. It’s followed up by my favorite track on the album, “Deathsweater.” Produced by Nobody (seriously, I can’t champion his work enough - it’s fantastic), it plays up a complex mid-tempo funk built on multiple drum sounds and menacing bass line, only to have a falsetto chorus exclaiming, “Deathsweater looks good on me/ kill 2 win/ hug my curves/ makes me feel so sexy.” It also features one of my favorite lines when Beans clarifies “I’m not materialistic - but my material is sick.” Things remain generally strong on the album, and it plows ahead through thirteen tracks in just a little over thirty minutes.

While projects past had Beans working almost entirely by himself, crafting beats and rhymes, he opened himself to outside collaboration on this record, and it works nicely. Sometimes when emcees work with multiple producers on an album it can come across sounding disjointed, but everything flows together here. Even though we’ve got Nobody, Four Tet, Son Lux, Tobacco, and others on the album, it still all sounds like a Beans album. One of my favorite creative collaborations comes on “Mellow You Out,” which features the vocals of Tunde Adebimpe from TV on the Radio. It blends their sounds together well, with Adebimpe providing a “Whoa-oh” vocal line in the background over a pulsing Goldfrapp-esque beat while Beans rhymes.

My only real complaint on the album is that even on as compact an album as End It All is, there is still a little bit of dead weight. Namely “Electric Bitch,” produced by Sam Fog of Interpol. It’s a bit awkward, and features some of his weakest rhymes, starting off by stating that “You and your crew of queens are Helen Mirren.” It reeks of homophobia and is an incredibly weak rhyme. I expect better from someone as obviously as talented as Beans. It’s an unfortunate mark on what is a very good album otherwise. There’s a lot of excellent creative hip hop happening here; I just wish I didn’t have to feel conflicted about it.