Mother Nature Credit: Nicci Briann

Rappers Klevah Knox and TRUTH, known collectively as Mother Nature, have worked tirelessly to ascend through the Chicago scene over the past few years. COVID-19 threw a gigantic roadblock in their path—the same way it did for almost anyone who isn’t a billionaire using a society-shifting pandemic to get billions of dollars richer—but the duo’s labor has continued to bear fruit. Last year Mother Nature worked for the first time with venerated local hip-hop label Closed Sessions, releasing an EP called Portalz. They’ve pulled out all the stops for their follow-up mixtape, Sznz, which features guest verses from some of Chicago’s finest: Cool Kids’ Sir Michael Rocks, often imitated but never replicated phenom Valee, and rising royal Brittney Carter. Mother Nature’s key collaborator here is Closed Sessions in-house producer BoatHouse, whose balance of resplendent luxury and hard-edged grit emphasizes the duo’s intensity and chemistry. Throughout the album, Klevah Knox and TRUTH show off sharpened, battle-ready raps, but on the cool, effervescent “Treehuggaz” they also use half-sung verses to foreground their affinity for irresistible melodies and pop hooks. Their relaxed confidence gives the track the kind of incalculable magic that ought to put their career in hyperdrive.   v