Father Credit: courtesy the artist

In 2014 the world was introduced to Atlanta’s Father with “Look at Wrist,” a collaboration with Drake protege ILoveMakonnen on which the former’s twisted lyrics and deadpan delivery served as foils to the latter’s drugged-out chill. Father has since managed to make himself stand out from the trippy mumble-trap scene with an obtuse, highly lyrical take on the genre, proving himself to be equal parts smart, weird, and straight-up catchy. On September’s Awful Swim, a joint release between Adult Swim and his own Awful Records, Father hit his stride, his hyperactive, nasal drawl taking on minimal psychedelic beats with topsy-turvy, spitfire wordplay and storytelling lyrics about the dark sides of the party lifestyle. This has been a prolific year for hip-hop, with new mixtapes and surprise albums seemingly coming out every week. But even in the newly saturated market of 2018, Awful Swim offers a smarter, sharper take on it all than you’ll find from anyone else.   v