sweet as the scratch

low-key chicago

On the podcast this week, I made a weak attempt to describe a style of music that has become just as much a part of the city's sound as drill or bop in recent years. While drill is the take-no-prisoners, brash voice of the South Side and bop is the fun-loving kid brother on the West, this low-key, almost detached sound represents all sides of the city.

The music comes across as blasé in its demeanor, but the songs have a sense of yearning for affection as much as they want to sound distant.

Most of the artists making music in this vein are young and their music takes notes from alternative, guitar-riff-accompanied, mellow talk-rap of the 2007-2010 years like Kid Cudi or some Wiz Khalifa. Comparisons to those names probably don't get many people excited since Kid Cudi and Wiz Khalifa are rappers that most people listened to for a bit, enjoyed the *~vibezzz, man~* and then graduated from college and stopped listening to. But the conflicted, "I want attention, but not too much" mood of their music was part of the real draw and that's something I think the kids making this music really tap into.

I don't think of the songs as pity-fests, but more of understated anthems and some of them are proud rather than quiet or unassuming.

The artists in this playlist range from well-known on a national scale to known pretty much only in Chicago. Big thanks to FakeShoreDrive for always posting new work from these artists. This list could include endless other Chicago artists, but I decided to cap it at my favorites. Some of these songs have been featured on the podcast or in the recommended section, so be sure to keep checking back to sweet as the scratch for more music in this vein.

0:00 "Sawbuck (New Smoker's Anthem)" - Kembe X - Self Rule
2:33 "Trinity (prod. Martin $ky)" - Martin $ky - (2015)
6:04 "Sandstorm (prod. Carl)" - Hurt Everybody - 2K47
7:18 "Israel [feat. Noname Gypsy]" - Chance The Rapper - (2015)
10:30 "Kings" - Kweku Collins - Say It Here, While It's Safe
14:53 "Scum [prod. Saba]" - Saba - ComfortZone
17:16 "New Chevy (feat. King Louie)" - Taylor Bennett - (2014)
21:14 "Count On Me" - Lucki Eck$ - Alternative Trap
25:06 "Make Me Feel (prod. DJ Nate)" - The Guys - (2015)
26:30 "Peace Of Mind [feat. Mick Jenkins and Jayin]" - The O'My's - (2015)
29:33 "We Don't Know How To Stop (prod. Two Fresh)" - Leather Corduroys - (2015)
32:36 "Right Now" - King Louie - (2015)
35:23 "Reflection (prod. Kaytanada)" - Towkio - .wav theory
38:35 "I Told You So (feat. Chance The Rapper)" - Leather Corduroys - Season
40:56 "Start A Fire" - Kweku Collins - (2015)
44:24 "Lost (prod. X Flight)" - Logan - (2014)
47:38 "Midnight To Morning (feat. Kembe X)" - Alex Wiley - Club Wiley

-- bert

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