Insomnia Addict, released with no promo on Starlito’s birthday, is his fourth full-length project in as many months; no wonder it’s an anxious, rasping ode to manic, sleepless nights. Lito’s voice always feels burdened and world-weary, but here he barely raises it above a hoarse (though still intelligible) mumble, sighing Must be the drugs and Pray for me. Even his titling, curiously punctuated and exhaustive, like “Red..Dot..Music (A Midwinter’s Midnightmare),” seems like a decision made and night and forgotten the next morning. He pulls it off though. In a less capable rapper’s hands, a tape about descending into a lean-hazy stupor could be a sloppy endeavor, but even on auto-pilot (or conceptual auto-pilot), Lito is a better rapper than pretty much anyone, sounding at points like mid-2000s Wayne at his druggiest. Still, if even Lito’s mid-tier tracks are keepers, I can only imagine what might have been he consolidated the best work from Cold Turkey, Fried Turkey and Insomnia Addict (disregarding his collaborative work with Don Trip) into one project; it’d be an easy contender for one of the best tapes of the year. But I’ll never complain about more Lito.
Highlights: Rather than one track in particular, I’m most compelled here by the gradual shift in Lito’s voice from track one to track ten, which sequentially represent the window from 4AM to 6AM. By the sprawling, ten minute conclusion, he’s repeating Smoking til my eyes closed in a defeated croak that sounds like they already are.
WTF: Another week, another “Paranoid” flip. Keep em coming! I don’t care! Make it last forever! (For what it’s worth, Lito’s is probably the best version since the original, and definitely the creepiest.)