Credit: Alison Green

These days it feels like every new artist worth your time comes with a new genre tag attached. “Soul trap,” coined by Chicago rapper and producer MC Tree (aka Tremaine Johnson), is a perfect name for his off-kilter but enticing style, which stacks wobbly, oddly edited soul samples atop lean, minimalist drums and the occasional simple synth pattern. Sometimes Tree’s songs sound like they’re under so much tension they could come unhinged, but he knows just what to do to hold them together. If you’ve heard any of his music already, you’ll recognize his sound instantly on the recent Sunday School 2 mixtape—combining soul samples with sparse beats isn’t novel, but nobody else does it like Tree.