Credit: Crystina Bond
by Ryo Miyauchi Music

Best Albums of 2020: Hook | Crashed My Car

December 27, 2020

Hook begins Crashed My Car, her first of two mixtapes from 2020, in hysterics, detailing how she, yes, crashed her car. While the Riverside rapper doesn’t bother explaining anywhere in the record about how she got there, it’s apparent on the title track (featuring Zack Fox) that all the fuss is part of a big inside joke among her circle of friends, and Crashed My Car thrives on this odd, unpredictable sense of humor unique to Hook. She might boast in one bar, replete with a dead-serious growl, then fail to hide her giggles on the next; and her penchant for dragging out a flow can give the impression of her mentally gathering material to crack wise on the spot. “Boohoo” best puts the process in action, her self-amusing rhymes delivered as if she’s ready to bust out in laughter, though it’s also hard to fault when she comes up with such a slapdash line as “she said she want to meet at noon / but I don’t fuck with 12, so I told her 2.” As if her humor didn’t already occupy its own plane of logic, Crashed My Car further cements its singular world thanks to the mixtape’s austere beats that warp the post-ratchet, DJ Mustard-refined formula of boom, clap, and a three-note piano riff into something more deranged: a creaky, alien moan disrupts the booty-bass rattle of “Wannabe,” and the eerie hiss of “Awesome” better suits the opening reel of a Twilight Zone episode. Yet her guests, such as Almighty Suspect and Lerado, sound right at home because they’re likewise eager to obnoxiously mess around. Hook utilizes the mixtape’s slightly wonky vibe, established throughout by both its gonzo humor or production decisions, to create a rap record that feels like it could have only ever come from Hook’s mind. Like a good joke, Crashed My Car is better heard and experienced firsthand than thoroughly explained.

Published as part of Top 25 Albums of 2020 — 25-11.