The beginning of a new year is typically quiet as far as new music goes. Perhaps that should be expected after a holiday where the entire country is encouraged to stay up after their bedtime on a school night. Some folks in the local hip-hop scene haven’t gotten the memo, and since 2015 started genre-blurring Save Money duo Leather Corduroys released their debut full-length (Season) and ZMoney dropped another mixtape of mush-mouthed magnetism from behind bars (Green Dot).
A bevy of singles and nonsingle tracks have also been trickling out the past week, including the latest offering from Lupe Fiasco’s forthcoming Tetsuo & Youth (“Adoration Of The Magi”), a rather romantic collaboration between Lil Durk and Detroit’s Dej Loaf (a remix of “What You Do To Me”), and a Young Chop production near the top of the new debut album from Atlanta-via-Mississipi hit makers Rae Sremmurd (“My X”). And that doesn’t take into account Dreezy‘s sinister, triumphant “Boss,” which the MC released as she announced her deal with Interscope on December 31.
Rapper-producer Martin Sky, who made my “best overlooked Chicago hip-hop” list in 2013 with his debut mixtape, Time(less), also tossed a new track onto the web this past week called “Reach.” I assume the process of getting this song online must have been rote, but the slow-blurring fog of Martin’s production gives me the impression the track could’ve well appeared out of the ether. There’s just enough space between Martin’s overlapping drum patterns to create a cold dread; the feeling intensifies when the drums drop out and all that remains are his unearthly synths, which sound like a sample of a Gregorian chant that’s been brought to a near halt.
Martin tagged rapper-producer Saba for a guest spot, and they’ve got a synchronicity that makes me hope they’ll partner up again in the future. “Reach” will be on Martin’s forthcoming EP, Everywhere But Here; give it a spin below.
Leor Galil writes about hip-hop every Wednesday.