Andrew Barber, Darrel Mckinney, Julius Mckinney Credit: Courtesy the Artist

Englewood MC Darrel Mckinney makes music as DaWeirdo, which is a pretty obvious clue that his approach is unusual. He warps his raps with animated squeaks that leap out of his mouth a couple times per line; at his wildest, he sounds like a bristling cat clinging desperately to a shoddy roller coaster. Mckinney’s vocal affectations can be unsettling, but that’s the point: he raps about systemic racism and disinvestment in Chicago’s Black communities, and his teetering flow and deliberately unstable inflections amplify the painful surreality of facing a world that constantly tells you that you’re disposable. Last month, Mckinney self-released two intertwined EPs, Broke and Ugly and No Face Mckinney. The former ends with a recording of a woman speaking: “Growing up, my son had a split personality, which I didn’t believe until later. There were so many internal battles that he called himself ‘No Face Mckinney.’” Mckinney does justice to his pathos-laden songs with needling performances that demand listeners pay attention to every detail.   v