The inaugural collaboration between a Grand Rapids-bred rapper and award-winning Kalamazoo producer is a COVID- and quarantine-inspired, hip hop masterpiece, debuting today at Local Spins.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Today’s exclusive premiere of Jay Jackson & Rick Chyme’s ‘The Cur?e’ includes a review of the duo’s new debut album. Read more about the project in an Aug. 30 Local Spins Artist Spotlight.
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Jay Jackson and Rick Chyme
What Stands Out: It’s truly epic.
“The Cur?e,” the inaugural collaboration between two of West Michigan’s most respected hip hop artists and producers, is filled with uplifting messages, biting political commentary and some of the most melodic yet forceful rap music the region has experienced in quite some time. Inspired mostly by the coronavirus pandemic, Grand Rapids-bred Rick Chyme and Kalamazoo producer Jay Jackson assert that this project is “designed to be heard through headphones, among nature” and it’s easy to see why. You don’t want to miss a word or a second of this often brilliant compilation that also features guest appearances by Yolonda Lavender and Xavier Bonner.
Rick Chyme calls it “a Gonzo time capsule of the times,” created during the pandemic in long-distance fashion, with Chyme working in the state of Washington on beats sent to him by Jackson from Kalamazoo. He said the words came quickly, like “wringing out a sponge” – something that’s long been a strength of this Rockford High School graduate (aka, Patrick Cleland) whose deft and rapid wordplay has made his live performances something to behold.
Digging Deeper: Through it all, Rick Chyme unleashes takes on isolation, wearing masks, survivor’s guilt, enduring love and much more. Amid this 17-track project, there are dreamy, almost psychedelic passages (“Strain”) along with positive, inspirational and soulful moments (“Lean in to Love,” “Nature’s Celebration”) that showcase the collaborative magic of a prodigious wordsmith and master arranger, producer and musician. Above all, the message here — during a very troubled 2020 — is that we really do need to “lean in to love” and realize that, as stated on the album’s final track, “The pain of sacrifice is less than the pain of regret.”
Perfect For: Emerging from a pandemic and period of isolation as a brighter, more loving soul.
Listen: “The Cur?e” by Jay Jackson & Rick Chyme
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