My mama always said a new Novel record is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. Ok, so the Forrest Gump reference was a little outdated, but it’s still true. The last time we heard from the L.A.-based singer/writer/producer he was Walkin on Air, and before that he was turning on the Red Light. Switching up his style once again, the Freestyle alum is here to premiere his new, complexly titled record Dear Hip Hop (Freestyle) (a.k.a. Lauryn Hill), a song that’s as hard to describe as it is enjoyable to listen to. On the production side Novel combines triumphant soul, smooth r&b sensibilities and hip-hop swagger, a swagger he backs up with his ever improving flow…and the somewhat random inclusion of Southern hitmaker Jazze Pha on some assorted “vocals”. I’ve listened to this record five times and I’m (obviously) still not sure how to describe it. How about we just call it dope and leave it at that? While Dear Hip Hop won’t appear on the project, be sure to cop Novel’s highly anticipated new mixtape, Legato Summer Blues, when it drops Monday, September 20.