Philmore Greene Credit: RONNY BOYKIN JR.

Local rapper Philmore Greene dropped his debut album, Chicago: A Third World City (One of One Music Group), in December, but it sounds like it could have come out in the 90s—its lifeblood is the kind of confident, luxuriant boom-bap that east-coast hip-hop acts regularly cranked out back then. “That’s what makes me comfortable,” Greene said of his sonic aesthetics in a December interview with YouTube talk show Beerz & Barz. “That’s what I came up on, that’s what I fell in love with.” Veteran Chicago rapper-producer Rashid Hadee built most of A Third World City with input from Greene over the course of roughly five years. Greene shows some fealty to Hadee’s instrumentals, and he always ensures that the tone of his voice and the shape of his words supercharge the heavyweight beats. On “Tomorrow,” Greene raps about finding hope while struggling against the riptide of systemic injustice and racial inequality—the way his voice skips across the track’s slender percussion accentuates its aspirational spirit.  v