The North Carolina rapper formerly known as Supastition has never had much use for the role-playing, posturing, and wish-fulfillment endemic to hip-hop. His national profile rose alongside an up-and-coming Netherlands producer named Nicolay (of Foreign Exchange semi-fame) when they collaborated on “The Williams,” a funny, sad, wondrously alive exploration of the past-due credit-card blues that won a contest to appear on ?uestlove’s first Okayplayer compilation. So it isn’t surprising that he’s traded in his prance-about stage moniker for his government name on his new album, Splitting Image.
Here, Kam Moye eschews the punchlines, braggadocio, and battle-raps of his early work in favor of rigorous introspection. “Give Out, Give In” sensitively addresses his decade-long battle with suicidal depression, while other tracks deal with soul-sucking day jobs, the comfort of being in a supportive relationship, and the difficulties of teenage parenthood. In other words, Splitting Image’s subject matter is full of commercial poison, but stellar production from Vitamin D, Khrysis, Jake One, and M-Phazes, as well as inspired guest turns from Phonte, One Be Lo, and Zion make this sober exercise in soul-searching easy on the ears. Moye is never anything less than truthful; he’s so unrelentingly forthright and candid that song titles like “Let’s Get Honest” and “Reality Check” can’t help but seem a little redundant.