Davis Credit: Mae Viado

Davis Blackwell began rapping in June 2018 and got involved in the Chicago music scene in no time. Shortly after he first picked up the mike, he formed the duo Udababy with Joshua Virtue; last year they cofounded local label and collective Why? Records with MCs Malci and Ruby Watson. Why? has become a force in underground Chicago hip-hop, dropping six captivating albums and EPs in the past calendar year, including Blackwell’s solo debut, September’s Green Parakeet Suite. Blackwell records as Davis, but Spotify has filed GPS under one of his nicknames, the Dorchester Bully. He references that name in his songs—along with one of his other identities, the Stony Island Stalker—though he tears through his meaty bars so fast you can be forgiven for not catching either. Blackwell gets into the DNA of his words and figures out how to make each one pop, bounce, or slide, depending on how he feels at a given moment, and this helps animate the snapshot narratives he packs into his brief songs—only one track on GPS even comes close to three minutes. For those not familiar with Blackwell’s corner of the DIY scene, a couple lines from “Baby Teeth” provides illuminating clues: “Spend it all investing in our community / Then we rock ‘Praise Art’ baseball caps and pristine Sharkula hoodies.” Whether or not you’re familiar with the motto “Praise Art” or the person who popularized it in the local scene (that’d be Sex No Babies front man Rahim Salaam), Blackwell delivers his references with the kind of care that’ll make you want to spend time in his world.   v