Champagne for Breakfast highlights the strengths and weaknesses of Meyhem Lauren, who’s best known for riding shotgun on Action Bronson’s various multimedia adventures. He’s got a decent po-faced style and a capacity to crack a few fly bars but lacks the conceptual savvy to elevate his street dreams into something more transcendent than thug-rap excursions. Over the past several years, Muggs has made himself into the Gothic composer of the “drumless” era — he did excellent work on Westside Gunn’s Flygod Is an Awesome God — and his highlights include “OD Wilson” and “Evolution,” the latter on which Meyhem raps, “I specialize in aeronautics, got a fly team.” Meanwhile, Madlib interjects vocal loops on Muggs’ beats, and his “Triple M Airlines” is a nice, crackly instrumental. The beats attributed to Madlib alone seem aimless in comparison to Muggs, but he eventually achieves synergy with Meyhem on “Wild Salmon,” a light disco-boogie closer. Rap cameos include Action Bronson and Meyhem’s brother, Hologram. Muggs released Champagne for Breakfast on his Soul Assassin Records label.
On Nothing Bigger Than the Program, Roc Marciano’s engaging production can’t save Jay Worthy’s unconvincing performance.