Semiratruth Credit: Liam Brigham

Chicago rapper Semiratruth impressed me with her 2019 EP I Don’t Wanna Have to Yell for You to Listen, where her sly lines springboard off rickety underground-style instrumentals and her expressive joy makes the grimiest beat shine like a diamond. On this month’s EP Yes! (Layaway), she’s found a great foil in Tre Johnson, whose languorous flow belies his surprisingly vigorous playful streak. On the dilapidated, modern-funk-infused “Face,” the two rappers absorb each other’s energies: they leave so little daylight between their turns on the mike that it sounds like they’re deliberately giving each other the chance to show off by casually picking up the thread without missing a stitch. Semiratruth and Johnson are clearly having fun in each other’s company, which is a salve for listeners who can only celebrate with loved ones in person by taking big risks and potentially making even bigger sacrifices. Yes! is a reminder of the happiness that we can still look forward to.   v