Phil G Credit: courtesy the artist

Chicago rapper Phil G clearly loves hip-hop’s golden age; his proclivity for skeletal percussion that bisects the air every time a drum beat kicks in and the stylistic elements that have flavored his oeuvre show a predilection for the types of bygone soul and jazz that served as the base for hip-hop’s teenage years. Recently, this affection showed up in the form of Chuck D’s booming voice, courtesy of Public Enemy’s “Shut ’Em Down” (off Apocalypse 91 . . . The Enemy Strikes Black), coursing through “Lower Level,” one of the rock-solid cuts from Phil G’s self-released Proper Education Always Corrects Errors (which he refers to by the acronym PEACE). But though his reference points may retain a “throwback” essence, Phil isn’t trapped in amber. Throughout the album he personifies placidity as he explores weighty questions about religion, racism, and capitalism’s viselike grip on the lower classes. Phil carries himself not as someone pining for the past, but as someone applying the lessons he’s taken to heart over the years to build a better future; I hope the coming days can turn out as good as PEACE sounds.   v