Every city and region has their own sounds, styles, and textures. West Coast has that bounce, New York has the grit, and the South has Lil Yachty.
Then there's Chicago. The Windy City has been my favorite destination for new music for quite a few years now because Chicago is different. Chicago’s sound isn’t a sound at all, it’s a feeling. It’s music so profound, so passionate, so exuberant, you can’t help but say, “Holy Shit you need to hear this!”
Enter Joey Purp. The SaveMoney rapper's latest offering, "CORNERSTORE," the first taste of his forthcoming iiiDrops project, is all of those things and more.
Have a listen...
While the song belongs to Joey Purp, it’s the production work of DJBooth-favorite Thelonious Martin that first grabbed my ears. I’ve been a fan of Martin's work for several years, and this is by far his best material to date. Perhaps this has something to do with the collaborative nature of the record, which finds Donnie Trumpet, Peter Cottontale, J.P Floyd, and Knox Fortune joining him behind the boards? All of these talented gentlemen on one track is like the Planeteers coming together to summon Captain Planet, only it’s Joey, Saba and theMIND who answer the call to save the Earth.
The horns will jump out of your speakers like Zach Lavine taking off from the free throw line. It’s like they've been stewing in their own juices, bubbling up in a pressure cooker, and ready to burst through in an explosion of sound, color, and warmth. Like a great workout the production will exhaust you, but at the same time you will leave the listening experience feeling rejuvenating in the best way possible.
Once the track had my unwavering attention, though, it immidiately became clear that Joey and Saba provided the song its heartbeat. Their collective attitude, their raw, unbridled energy, and their similarly gravelly, avalanching flows could make Phil Mushnick shit his Depends. While the thought of the much-hated NY Post columnist hearing this record and getting his old man on is hilarious, I’d love for Mushnick to actually listen to the song.
180 people have been murdered in Chicago since the start of 2016. That number, realized in just four months, is huge, but unless it's your reality it can be hard to grasp. The frequency of news reports, the recitation of shooting victim numbers, it all becomes the norm, leaving those directly effected numb. What I love about “CORNERSTORE” is how open and honest Purp and Saba are about this crisis. The attitude, passion, and subtle twinges of pain in their voice, combined with their flawless delivery, allow me to connect to their lives on a personal level; when you speak over a dope horn-laden instrumental you are speaking my language.
I may not know their pain, but going from “Flamin' Hots with Cheese at the corner store” to talking to your brother in jail is jarring; a television news anchor could never deliver a evening broadcast report in the same stirring manner. When Saba raps about a murder that happened just a few blocks from his house or how he can’t walk to the corner store without being cautious, I can feel how it looms over him. I’ll never know what that feeling is like, it’ll never be my reality, but with a little help from these talented Chicago artists I can empathize.
That’s something only the best, most honest and heartfelt songs can do. Holy shit you need to hear "CORNERSTORE."