J Wade Credit: Courtesy the Artist

J Wade raps like an all-terrain vehicle, coasting across craggy instrumentals strewn with syncopated samples that could trip up lesser artists. The Chicago MC is part of an emerging collective and label called Creative Mansion, which also includes rapper Sidaka and producer Cloud Boy—the latter made most of the sample-heavy instrumentals on Wade’s new EP, Lily of the Valley. Wade’s impressionistic verses thread through the narrow spaces Cloud Boy leaves in his euphonic but erratic collages, and his performances create a sense of equilibrium despite the unstable sonic environment. He can pull you into his world with just a couple quick lines delivered with a restrained confidence; when Wade punctures the airy, stitched-together vocal samples of “All I Need” with lyrics about stretching out a Starter cap, I can picture him giving that hat the kind of attention and care he brings to Lily of the Valley.   v