#28 Psalm One X Custom Made: Bigg Perm

What I do this shit for

Why I get so passionate

Never been in pitchfork

Nighas know I’m talented

Know they always watchin

Even when you feel obscure

You should know you poppin

I’m that bitch and yeah I’m sure

Pitchfork Score

Never been in Pitchfork?? That can’t be right, those motherfuckers review everything. When I released my first mixtape, ‘Phish Pale’, back in 2011, they even reviewed that piece of shit and gave it a respectable 6.8. I get it, that line is obviously meant to emphasise how bafflingly obscure she remains despite being consistently responsible for some of the greatest hip-hop of the past decade, but it’s not meant to be taken literally. Let’s just search the Pitchfork site:

See! She got one mention when she released a new track once! In October 2022. One month after this album was released.


Now, haw could this possibly be? She has released roughly twelve albums, three mixtapes and eight EPs (including with ensembles such as the amazing band BIG $ILKY) over the past twenty years. All of these releases are generally of the quality of ‘Bigg Perm’ – which in extremely high – and have long shown her to be an absolute boss of witty and incisive rhymes combined with absolute first grade hooks and beats. And the music she makes is so universal – she isn’t an oblique and not easily penetrable ‘art-rap’ artist like Koreatown Oddity (7.1 in Pitchfork), she is generally only concerned with bangers. My larger confusion with Psalm One and BIG $ILKY is generally concerned with why such artfully accomplished commercial rap isn’t as big as Travis Scott. And people don’t generally die at Psalm One gigs! But to not even be featured in Pitchfork…?

I know what I want to say, but I’m going to hold my take a while, as ‘Bigg Perm’ wasn’t Psalm One’s only big release of 2022.

Subtitled ‘Navigating Hip Hop and Relationships in a Culture of Misogyny’, Psalm One/Cristelle Bowen’s memoir ‘Her Word is Bond‘ was published in 2022. My copy arrived a few weeks ago but I haven’t yet had time to read it because, come on, I’m a little busy around here. I’ll be starting it after I complete this year’s list though, and there’ll be a review posted as soon as I finish. Not named among Pitchfork’s best music books of 2022, but really, what does that tell us?


2021 #35

2020 #26

2020 #27

(with BIG $ILKY)

2 thoughts on “#28 Psalm One X Custom Made: Bigg Perm

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