For fans of adventurous, even fearless, hip hop, Armand Hammer’s continuous rise has been nothing less than thrilling to witness. They unquestionably reached a new level by linking up with The Alchemist for 2021’s damn near flawless Haram, and while it may be billy woods attaining the most attention of the pair (particularly with the absolutely brilliant Aethiopes and his collaborations with Kenny Segal), Elucid garnered some accolades of his own with last year’s I Told Bessie.
While the duo offered up a strong compilation with WHT LBL, they’re now set to return with the proper follow-up to their biggest album to date. In true Armand Hammer fashion, the LP’s title is more than memorable: We Buy Diabetic Test Strips.
The album is no slouch in the production department, with the pair tapping the likes of El-P and JPEGMAFIA, among others. The latter artist produced the album’s latest single, the perfectly titled, “Woke Up and Asked Siri How I’m Gonna Die”.
To call the song integral to the project is to put it lightly. Indeed, it served as a catalyst for the entire LP, as woods explains: “I think that every project I’ve worked on, you are kinda waiting to make your first track that is more than the sum of its parts. Because some tracks have a dope verse and a really good beat and a great hook, and the song is really dope and that’s cool. That’s a win, for sure, but there are other songs out there. The ones where all the parts swirl in a unique orbit, building upon each other and all of a sudden the whole thing is floating. Alchemy. Base metals turn to gold, etc. That’s really the moment I’m always waiting for when I start on a new creative journey. That unmistakable signpost. On We Buy Diabetic Test Strips, there were more than a few such moments, but this was the very first one. One take and it was like, yeah that’s it.“
JPEG’s beat is meandering, abstract yet immediate, weaving a thorny tapestry over which, needless to say, both MC’s effortlessly glide, all while offering up bars both mournful and biting.
Listen to “Woke Up and Asked Siri How I’m Gonna Die” below, and look out for We Buy Diabetic Test Strips come September 29th via Fat Possum Records.