After turning 41 years old, veteran pianist Robert Glasper has re-emerged to let hip-hop fans know he is far from past his prime. With eight nominations and three Grammys already under his belt, Glasper did not need to release “F**k Yo Feelings” six years after dropping his pinnacle album, “Black Radio”, to solidify his career. Throughout the past 17 years, Glasper has been able to perfect the balance between his uniquely curated alternative style and his talents in the studio. That ability to do both is the capstone of his new project. From the first-class features to such a diversity of sound, Robert Glasper has released something notable with the powerful “F**k Yo Feelings”.
As a pianist, Robert Glasper has spent his hip-hop career behind the scenes where recognition is seldom given but strong connections are often made. Glasper’s network shines on “F**k Yo Feelings” through his incorporation of music icons young and old. The difference in contributions between legendary rapper Yasiin Bey on “Treal” and two of the most exciting young names in hip-hop in Buddy and Denzel Curry on “This Changes Everything” gracefully demonstrates Glasper’s reach.
The highlight of the project comes with the track “Gone” which brings together especially compelling individuals from the history of hip-hop. The melodic framework from 79-year-old hero keyboardist Herbie Hancock, intimately rigid verse from emerging 22-year-old YBN Cordae, and lyrical support from elite 90s R&B singer Bilal complement each other perfectly. There’s no question that Robert Glasper pulled significant strings to bring this cultivated crew together, and it’s pleasing to witness the project succeed. Besides the electrifying veteran and rookie features, Glasper also brought in some of the most notoriously slept on hip-hop artists for the album. Musicians like Rapsody and Mick Jenkins rose to the occasion and spit a pair of elite verses on “Expectations” and “Let Me In” respectively.
While the variety of features on “F**k Yo Feelings” brings excitement to the project, it’s the diversity of style and energy channeled by Robert Glasper himself that gives this album substance. He employs uniquely alternative styles to evoke a plethora of emotions and convey an array of themes. From the hard-hitting messages beautifully sung by Andra Day and dictated by Staceyann Chin on “Endangered Black Woman” to the pensively instrumental tracks “Indulging in Such” and “Liquid Swords,” Glasper consistently has the listener changing perspectives and moods throughout the album.
Many would expect Robert Glasper to receive continued recognition following his Grammy-winning “Black Radio” album in 2012, however, the pianist has still lived and worked under his name. The narrative of being slept on carries into this project, but once again, Glasper has not received the attention or respect his work deserves.
“F**k Yo Feelings” gives listeners another chance to appreciate Glasper’s abilities on the keys and his reach into the hip-hop community; both of which are skills he’s been displaying since 2010. Whether you haven’t heard one of his songs since 2012 or have never even heard his name at all, “F**k Yo Feelings” provides all the reasons why this collaborator can continue to expand his Grammy-golden discography.