A.V. Club Most Read

News Newswire Great Job, Internet!
TV Club All Reviews What's On Tonight
Video All Video A.V. Undercover A.V. Cocktail Club Film Club
Reviews All Reviews Film TV Music Books
Features All Features Newswire Movie Review
Sections Film Tv Music Food Comedy Books Games Aux
Our Company About Us Contact Advertise Privacy Policy Careers RSS
Onion Inc. Sites The Onion The A.V. Club ClickHole Onion Studios

Tanya Morgan: Brooklynati



Tanya Morgan

Album: Brooklynati
Label: Interdependent

Community Grade

  • A
  • A-
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • D+
  • D
  • D-
  • F

Your Grade


For its second full-length album, Tanya Morgan created a fictional city combining its members’ respective homes in Brooklyn and Cincinnati, but the group’s real home is in the grooves of hip-hop and the universe of black music that created it, a sonic wonderland that renders geography simultaneously crucial and irrelevant. Liberated rather than limited by tradition, Brooklynati breathes new life into sturdy hip-hop tropes with lived-in chemistry, disarming sweetness, and impossibly lush, hyper-soulful, 9th Wonderful production. If Tanya Morgan isn’t the nicest, most likeable crew in hip-hop, it’s right up there.

“Plan B” tenderly explores the sacrifices and faith endemic in pursuing a career in music against long odds. Tanya Morgan teams up with a crooning Phonte of Little Brother for another extended hip-hop-as-love-affair metaphor in “Without U.” With “Hardcore Gentleman,” the trio creates a lost Golden Age song that suggests an agitated mosh-pit collision between Pharcyde, Fu Schnickens, and Onyx. A huge evolutionary leap forward from the group’s charming 2006 debut Moonlighting, Brooklynati brings together the whole package: gorgeous beats, thoughtful rhymes, strong song concepts, and a laid-back, cohesive vibe. Even the skits are clever. With Brooklynati, Tanya Morgan comes of age. It’s gone from paying homage to the albums and groups that inspired it to putting out a classic of its own.