RJD2 has earned his reputation as one of instrumental hip-hop’s best composers and producers—and one of the genre’s most consistent, with triennial releases since 2004. After listening to his highly anticipated album More Is Than Isn’t, it’s fair to say he’s lived up to his name.
Blending musical styles that rarely go together is one of RJD2’s fortes. More Is Than Isn’t offers an array of styles that will satisfy any mood: “Behold, Numbers!” is a calm but funky tune; “Milk Tooth” is all over the place, switching constantly from dark sections to happier ones; and the end of “Suite 3” changes so much it’s hard to tell what’s going on.
Nevertheless, RJD2 sticks to his hip-hop roots and collaborates with rappers like P. Blackk, STS, Khari Mateen, Phonte Coleman, and Blueprint. In particular, the mix of laid-back rap with funky beats, in the background of “See You Leave (feat. STS And Khari Mateen),” makes it my personal favourite on the album.
The trilogy of the “Suite” songs is also an album highlight. RJD2’s jazz-oriented, melodic, and slow-tempo beats in “Suite 1” and “Suite 2,” juxtaposed with the inconsistency of “Suite 3,” imply a build-up of atmosphere. While this album may not receive the same hype that much-lauded debut Deadringer did, RJD2 has delivered an album that surpasses expectations.