Sorry, what was that you said, I didn’t quite hear you the first time? Not enough beaties in your life? Pssh, Chef the Chef has got your back. Although we know him mostly from his rapper in the CT duo Ghost Row, Chef the Chef has been improving his beat making craft for a long time now. Although his experiments have usually never left obscurity on his soundcloud page, Chef has decided to collect 24 of them (yup, 24 more beaties for you to munch on) in what I believe is his first solo tape Eunoia. Considering that the tape delivers 24 new tracks and that Chef still is a padawan beat maker, Enoia isn’t going to consistently wow listeners. Instead, Eunoia is definitely a listen for fans of Chef who are interested in the kinds of beats he likes pumping out when he’s not delivering hot fiyah with Color Plus.
Cadence Collective just dropped an awesome sampler compilation, and it happened to feature a track from CT homies Ghost Row. Ghost Row, once again, show incredibly good chemistry with this track. Color Plus puts together an absurdly smooth beat driven by gorgeous guitar strummings, and Chef lays down some of his most effortless-sounding verses yet, with perfect flow and tasteful wordplay. ”Cranberry Octave” is an awesome reminder of how DIY rap can rival and surpass the work of artists with lots of resources. Keep an eye on Ghost Row in the future because if they keep putting together tracks this great people are bound to take notice.
Its been a while since Color Plus released his last EP, Cerulean Dream, and since then he has been up to a number of different things, releasing two EP’s with Chef the Chef under the name Ghost Row. For most of the songs for Ghost Row, Color Plus toned down the thick ambience and airy nature of his solo music, but now on Key Lime, it is back in full force. His production style is just as distinctive as ever, stretching out vocal samples in a number of different ways to form gorgeous backdrops with extremely well produced drums over them. Although Color Plus’ choice in drum sounds can often draw many connections to trap music, his production style as a whole completely transcends the genre in an extremely impressive way that I can’t think of many producers who are capable of. Stream one of my favorite tracks off of the EP below, and the whole thing after the jump.
It’s no secret that Madvillainy is one of the most highly regarded releases in abstract and underground hip-hop and something that has left an incredible mark on the face of hip-hop today. On that perfect album, my favorite track has always been “Fancy Clown” so I was honestly skeptical when I saw that Ghost Row spitter Chef the Chef was taking on the beat. I’m happy that I can say that Chef handles the beat exactly how he should, with reverence for the original and a lightheartedness to let listeners know that he isn’t trying to challenge MF DOOM’s (as Viktor Vauhgn) original verse either. Listen, donate, spread the word.
Despite the lack of a rich hip-hop scene coming from Connecticut, Ghost Row continue to earn the title of CT’s finest with their newest track “Curtain Call”. Ever since their first mixtape, Chef and Color Plus have only been getting better at melding their styles and Cheap Thrillz showed off an incredibly confident Chef with the ability to create effortlessly memorable hooks. ”Curtain Call” is another showcase for Chef as lyricist with an understated and ambient beat from Color Plus. Chef doesn’t disappoint with plenty of witty lyricism and memorable lines: “trippy so the hippies be saying I’m far out”. ”Curtain Call” was recorded for our Newtown tribute compilation Nutmeg State of Mind and gives the indie-rock heavy listen a much appreciated hip-hop detour. Listen, donate, spread the word.
When Ghost Row dropped their Elevator Muzik mixtape earlier this year it was a success in vision of sound and vibe similar to ASAP Rocky’s LIVELOVEA$AP from 2011. It’s not that the two mixtapes share much sonically, however, both mixtapes are a success because they found producer and rapper working together to synthesize a coherent and captivating sound that could have only been possible with both involved parties. Elevator Muzik had Chef the Chef (and occasionally Sidewalk Kal) flowing over beats from future-trap prodigy Color Plus that resulted in several standouts that didn’t require the rappers to demolish the beats as much as to add to their vibes. The reason why Cheap Thrillz is the perfect follow-up is because Chef goes in on every single track on the release. Whether it is a result of Chef becoming more comfortable with his talent or Color Plus’ restrained and heavily acoustic beats forcing the lyrics to the foreground, their is a clear emphasis on Chef as a performer and artist throughout the four tracks on Cheap Thrillz. The new formula proves that Ghost Row have incredible technical skill in both rapping and production as well as in gorgeous conceptualizations and soundscapres (something that people are still rightfully skeptical of ASAP about) and are a group that deserves the title of “Connecticut’s finest”. Stream my favorite track from Cheap Thrillz below and stream the entire mixtape after the jump…