Thumbing Thru Foliage

(Bad Taste)


Morpheus is one of the thousand sons of sleep in Greek mythology, and one of three named in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. He would appear in dreams in human form, as the voice of reason, whilst brothers Phobetor (‘Frightener’) and Phantasos (‘Fantasy’) would seek to deceive the dreamer. In essence, it is Morpheus who has the ability to calmly make sense of the chaos of the dreamworld.

YUNGMORPHEUS gets his name not from mythology, but because his teenage self would frequently don a pair of round shades like Laurence Fishburne’s Matrix character. However, across his fledgling discography, MORPH plays a similar role to the Greek dream-god: from beneath a blunted dreamworld of grainy beats, he emerges with irreverent bars that wilt personal musings into political commentary. Indeed, behind a veneer of sun-drenched boom-bap, he quips “Fuck all of my racist teachers” on recent
single ‘Sovereignty’. 

Following last year’s standout Pink Siifu collaboration Bag Talk, MORPH’s first 2021 release Thumbing Thru Foliage sees him team up with NY producer ewonee, who does a helluva job. At points, the delectably smoky boom-bap production is the star, and from opener ‘Ride Dirty’, wherein MORPH’s cackles are masked by a smokescreen of G-funk guitar, to glitzing West Coast closer ‘Johnnie Cochran’, the album is a delight that never outstays its welcome. Whilst it is in part the intuitive beat-making that earmarks this as an early 2021 hip-hop highlight, at the centre of it all is YUNGMORPHEUS – in the midst of the album’s abstract dreamscapes, he makes sense of the chaos.