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Yesterday local rapper Keary Baldwin, aka Kit, dropped his debut mixtape, New Wavey. The 23-year-old says “new wavey” is a sound, specifically his sound. “I wanted to make ‘new wavey’ a whole thing where it’s not rap or R&B,” he says. “I want to make it its own genre.” Baldwin’s style sits somewhere in the gray area between hip-hop and R&B, in part because he spits so nonchalantly that his rapping sounds a little like he’s singing, and when he sings it sounds a little he’s rapping—his slightly raspy vocals come out pretty effortlessly throughout New Wavey, and at times he sounds so comfortable behind the microphone it almost sounds like he’s having a conversation. “I’m kind of laid-back to the point,” Baldwin says. “My music really reflects who I am as a person.”
New Wavey is dark and subterranean; its songs are filled with spooky, pitched-down vocal samples, chilly, rattling drum patterns, and hazy ambient synths that sometimes hang in the air like a fog. The rapper found a great foil in Jeremiah Meece (aka Jeremiah Chrome of experimental production duo The-Drum), who produced the bulk of New Wavey. The-Drum also produced a couple tracks on the mixtape, and the group is part of a collection of friends (which also includes R&B vocal group Jody, who appear on the mixtape) Baldwin has made since moving to town last August. “Chicago is like my home now,” he says. “The people here took me in and really supported me a lot.”