Blank Thought - "Ghost In The Machine" Review

The term “ghost in the machine” is used in the world of programming as a means to refer to a code running in a way the programmer did not intend. It originated from the concept of the mind and body being separate entities, and the mind having to control the body, lest it act on basal urges. Blank Thought, as enigmatic as ever, weaves a project of beats that are almost as pensive as the rappers on them, touching on topics such as death, existentialism and how to face the future.


Someone unfamiliar with Blank’s work might be caught off-guard by how dark the atmosphere of the project is, but those who are more familiar with him know this is nothing new for him. I say that not as a negative, but as a way to prime you for just how comfortable his instrumentation sounds on this project, he weaves the synths and drums through pathways in a way that only someone who is familiar with them can be. Every beat sounds masterfully crafted and the atmosphere transports you to a world that is perennially cloudy and gray. Blank Thought went with a somewhat happier sound with his recent projects; but like Tom Hardy’s Bane, the darkness is his ally.

This project also boasts what might be Blank’s most stacked feature list and, as usual, he gets the absolute best out of his collaborators. There’s many dream matchups on this project, from Sleep Sinatra and Bucky P, to the consistently impressive duo of Zim and Jonny Farias, to the avengers-level team-up of Mourning Run, Rap Man Gavin and Teller Bank$. No track is wasted and no guest phones it in. Blank continues to make a case for why an appearance on his projects will soon be a badge of honor (although, it is already).

The topics are just as somber as the instrumentals, from Bucky P rapping about how he’s no longer moved after watching someone die to Rap Man Gavin rapping about the things he’s witnessed in his early days, to IDK Young J. talking about having existential crises in elementary school. The project is not afraid to analyze the human experience, and things get just as metaphysical as the title suggests. The album is mostly dour and pessimistic, with the final track ending on a somewhat bright note, serving as a suggestion that hope is not lost and that there may well be a light at the end of the tunnel of existential dread.

As the summer approaches, this project may not remain in your rotation as you leave the dark and gray skies of the rainy season, but, like the rain, it will definitely leave you with a sign of the experience.

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Written By IdkYoungJ: