A majority of the rappers who have treated Whole Lotta Red like the Bible have misunderstood something fundamental about Playboi Carti’s album: It isn’t cool just because of its self-mythologizing spirit. Sure, Carti flexed the same expensive brands you could find at Dover Street Market and also really, really wanted us to know that he gives no fucks, but that’s where the music starts, not ends. WLR is a sensory overload where the beats are loud and explosive, but also extremely intricate; his producers treat this vortex of flows with the same attention to detail that billy woods brings to his lyrics. In the two and a half years since its release, nobody has gotten particularly close to recapturing its magic, though a new rapper tries to do that basically every week. The handful of noteworthy mixtapes that have come in its wake have pushed the style forward rather than recycled it as their own, like Yeat’s 4L or Yung Kayo’s DFTK. Lunchbox’s New Jazz, which dabbles in a big and chaotic sound that has been loosely labeled rage-rap, should be added to that list.

Nearly five years ago, Lunchbox made his name as the teenage Harlem producer who helped shape the grimy yet booming atmosphere of Sheck Wes’ Mudboy, an album that holds up better for its beats than its raps these days. Lunchbox has AutoTune experiments on his SoundCloud page that go back to 2017, yet it wasn’t until he locked in with producers Mowz, Dulio, and Amir that his style came alive. Those three have their fingerprints all over the 23 songs on New Jazz. Its title could signal Lunchbox’s desire to separate his music from the oversaturated scene of rage-rap, but his offbeat and inventive take on the style does that better than any title could.

Lunchbox has taken a backseat as a producer, but he still has the ear of one. He’s well-versed enough in the subgenre to tweak its loopy rhythms and arrangements; vocally, he is restless, rarely ever staying in one tune or mood for long. He broods, then is turnt; sometimes he’s heartbroken, other times he’s so stoned that he forgets about it. On “Healin’,” he repeats the sung hook “I been through pain, I been healing” three times, the AutoTune intensifying with each subsequent line. That final mutation of “healing” stings. With “Matter,” he raps nearly every word with a different flow, lingering on certain syllables for no real reason other than catchiness. His improvisation lacks the range of Young Thug or Carti, but he’s still able to surprise, even within his vocal limits. Maybe it’s because he has a naturally deep and scratchy voice that isn’t entirely malleable, but is cold when he stretches it, like the high notes on “We Aint/He Say She Say.” The flow switches hit you like an unexpected electric shock—and they all happen on songs that are barely over a minute and a half.

The beats are a doozy, too. Particularly Amir’s, which go from zero to warp speed, and sound like different stages of a robot overheating. Like Working on Dying’s F1lthy and BNYX, Amir is a real wizard with synths. There are songs where synth pads gradually bloom as they go, and others where they abruptly morph. The strongest moments include “Who Dat Is,” which feels like two different beats are playing over each other at the same time; “Feel Things,” where the synths are a shade darker and a nice backdrop for Lunchbox’s dramatic lilts; and finally, “Get Me,” where the beat switch-up and nostalgic sample feel blissful. His beats are so immediately identifiable, it’s easy to check out on the couple of tracks without his touch—they are just underwhelmingly standard.

For the most part, New Jazz is exciting. You don’t even always know what Lunchbox is going on about—he gets high, doesn’t trust folks, gets to the bag, you know—but the meticulousness of the melodies and beats goes a long way. It’s the music of a rapper infatuated with the nuts and bolts of rage enough to know what works, what’s played-out, what needs to be reshaped, or lost altogether. Lunchbox is aware that the music needs to hit more than anything else, and that it’s not just a pathway to sell merch to suckers. Now that’s actually cool.