Buddy is an LA baby, and Harlan & Alondra acts as a whistle-stop tour through the sounds of his home turf. Opening with "Real Life Shit", he starts out exploring the vertigo of success and the reality of growing up in a spotlight, paring a lazy snare with a flow that's at once remarkably precise and all-too-effortless. Then, at the risk of the listener thinking they've stumbled upon something purely introspective, "Shameless" rolls in – the kind of baller anthem you expect to hear shaking beer-sticky speakers at a block party. Track four, "Hey Up There", takes another swerve into trap. The mixture of sincerity from Buddy's letter to God, coupled with a muted piano, makes even Ty Dollar $ign's trademark 'vocoder and chill' vibe sound pensive. (Incidentally, this song has what is fast becoming my favourite punchline-rap ever – 'Now it's getting scary: Freddy Kruger'. Just brilliant.)

This signifies the end of the first act, with Buddy using the disco-funk of instrumental "Legend" as a transistor into more old-school territory. But remarkably, the zig-zag through genre doesn't let up. You want jazz? "Young" snaps open with some of the best chops you'll hear this year. You want straight up sex-music? See the rolling hats and cathedral reverb of "Trippin'", featuring Khalid. You want g-funk? Snoop Dogg just turned up.

As ever, this much variety is a risk. But there's a delicacy in the approach that ties everything together. Where other sample-based producers might just loop up and check out, the team here – from Bruno Mars collaborator Brody Brown to master sticksman Roofeeo – craft arrangements that are intricate and deliberate. A barely-there string quartet closes "Real Life Shit"; a Wurlitzer purrs in the background of Young; every bit of close harmony and double-tracking is crisp and considered.

And the rapper cum singer has the vocal equipment to join the dots. Spitting 'Dear Diary' scrawl or political polemic, singing gospel or R 'n' B, Buddy leans into each style without losing a thread of idiosyncrasy. There are simply no duds.

Even more exciting is the amount of industry support behind him. 2018 is barely halfway through, but Harlan & Alondra will have to be crowbarred out of end-of-year lists come December. An absolute triumph.