Armand Hammer represent rap’s uncoded potential, driven like Puck to dupe godforsaken reality with a chaos language. Lines that bite, imagery that drenches, decapitated pigs. Their flows entangle, wrenching you inside with allusions, memories, madness, references you’re scared to laugh at, Wesley Snipes’ taxes. On this record there’s a story: HARAM is a scroll of trespasses. Alchemist produced the whole thing, sounding both inspired and unsettled. See how he limns "Indian Summer" with bright dread, or stitches First Reformed between tracks. The features are perfect, either texture or Text (Quelle Chris, yeesh). Earl’s got his dad’s swollen body behind his eyes as he stares at stars dying. But billy woods & ELUCID can never be topped, only met at the peak they inhabit. Closer “Stonefruit” finds them on that high hill. Branches sway over soil fertilized by Old Testament flesh. ELUCID sings into the wind while billy sacrifices himself, a living verse, to touch the untouchable: to gnaw the forbidden fruit, inhale the mystic cloud, creep behind the holy curtain. He lays his body on the altar. HARAM, ultimately, is about what only rap’s fire can purify. Play it as loud as you can possibly bear.