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Lord Kayso, 'Uncle Mark'

Grounded by a reverence for the ancestors that came before us, Brooklyn rapper Lord Kayso's MOOR CHORES glows with the warmth and familiarity of Black family life. Backed by Chris Decastro's gorgeous, jazz piano-inflected beat, "Uncle Mark'' is a harrowing story of his uncle's struggles with bipolar schizophrenia, but Lord Kayso conjures images of drug use, trauma and robberies right alongside Saturday lunch dates and sweet memories of family time. The track mirrors the way that beauty and tragedy can coexist within the life of a person living life on the margins. It's heartbreaking, but Lord Kayso ties the whole thing together with the unforgettable refrain: "I sing a song like sweet Sadie, my grandmother's baby. You know my Uncle Mark be going crazy."

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John Morrison is a writer, DJ, and sample-flipper from Philadelphia. As a writer, his work has appeared in NPR Music, Bandcamp Daily, Jazz Tokyo,, and more. He is also the host of Culture Cypher Radio, a hip-hop radio show on NPR member station WXPN.