On his third studio album under the moniker Milo, Who Told You To Think??!!?!?!?!, Chicago native Rory Ferreira begins with a simple lyric: "In my neighborhood, it was become a poet or a farmer." To those who aren't familiar with Milo, this lyric perfectly reflects his humor. Not that those were really his only options, but for a vegetarian emcee and former college student studying philosophy, there were only two options for him. Either he could pursue his dreams of slick, slam-poet hip-hop, or he could go off to be forgotten, a man who never fulfilled his dreams and potential. If that were the case, and Ferreira decided to call it quits on his life as a poet, the world would be missing one of the brightest, most innovative emcees to date.

In a time where some of hip-hop's biggest acts go by the names 21 Savage, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yatchy, or Playboi Carti, the moniker Milo, a name which originates from The Phantom Tollbooth's main character, represents his attitude in an industry filled with auto-tune junkies and one-hit wonders. This academia-obsessed artist is wise beyond his years, and one of underground hip-hop's best kept secrets. Milo comes from one of the most impressive - and now defunct - hip-hop collectives of the twenty-first century: Hellfyre Club. Hellfyre's roster included, to name a few, some of the most respected figures in the underground hip-hop scene: Busdriver, Open Mike Eagle, and Anderson .Paak. In his tenure with the collective, Milo was able the shape his flow and style, one that's as abstract as it is flat-out brilliant, paving the way for his career as a pseudo-intellectual and a humbled genius.

His latest album, and his best one at that, Who Told You To Think??!!?!?!?!, is a fifteen track epic exploring the height of Milo's capabilities as an artist. On this particular venture, Milo floats through a lounge-jazz backdrop with proto-Flying Lotus production, tied together with his chatty flow and absurdly sardonic attitude. His lyrics are often cunning and long-winded; On 'Call + Form (Picture)', Milo spits "It's the unimpressed alchemist/ The pity who doubting this / In your city with a double-breasted falcon chest/ Chest plate, male tunic, in this society of spectacle/ It's the shoe-bomber who's waltzing through." These ideas that form in his head often act as the narrative of what he's witnessing in the corrupt world around him.

On 'Magician (Suture)', one of the leading singles and arguably strongest tracks off of Who Told You To Think?!, Milo spews a divisive, in-your-fucking-face ballad with a complex and explosive bass line. The production of Who Told You To Think?! is at its peak on this track, a stand-alone single that shoots Milo off to somewhere transcendental. Not that the other tracks on this particular release are lacking something, but 'Magician (Suture)' is completely different than anything Milo has ever recorded, not because of the lyrics, the beat, or style it presents itself with, but rather the brainworm that comes from this track, tempting the listener to press repeat over, and over, and over.

Perhaps the greatest weakness Milo shows on Who Told You To Think?! is the list of features that accompanies the album. The usual suspects are all there, artists that usually make a Milo record a wholesome and rewarding listen, but this release feels as if it would have been better off as a solo record. This is Milo's time to shine, an artist that, in the past, has lacked any major publicity or attention. He brings a force with him that can't be found on any previous release of his, and if his brilliance hasn't swayed your take on him in the past, Who Told You To Think?! is an extremely attentive and translucent entry-point into the modern philosophies and ideals of one of the best emcees of this generation.