che – Crueger (Review)

Hip hop has been around long enough to see countless phases come & go. With a younger generation with fresh ears coming into hip hop, we get to see some unthinkable blends of sounds & genres. In the case of Atlanta rapper che’s newest release Crueger, we get a unique mix of Chicago Drill with Rage & plugg to make for fresh take on the respective sub-genres.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Chicago Drill mixed with other scenes to create a new sound, specifically Sematary & Haunted Mound have taken the ground work laid by the likes of Chief Keef with an added horrorcore element with heavy layers of distortion. However, their style to some can come across as gimmicky, too out there to be taken more seriously than a niche underground movement. Che provides something a little more contemporary, laced with familiar topics of trap lifestyles, but with production that pulls punches left & right.

The introductory track “Ok Den” starts with this pulsating bassline but mixed with Chicago Drill’s iconic drum selection. Meanwhile, “Gah Damn” lets completely loose with hi-hats, letting them unloaded for the entire runtime of the track as che equally drops his threats of spinning the block. While all of Chicago Drill is an influence on this release, Chief Keef is the primary influence; seeing che pull off many vocal inflections that he would do like on the song “Right Now.”

che – Gah Damn

While it may be hard for some to recognize that, at the time of writing, that more than ten years have passed since the explosion that was Chicago Drill; its time for a new gen to take their influences & completely flip the script. The generation ten years ago was determined to tear down the walls of what hip hop could mean & can be, and we’re continuing to see how an even younger generation can take that morph it into a sound that represents themselves. At the EP’s worst moments its drowning in its influences, but at its best its creating a sound that lays in its own plane of existence.

Stream on Apple Music

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