Chicago, forever a hip-hop hotbed for soul samples, choirs, and raw talent.
On Monday, GRAMMY-winning producer Cam O’bi, the beatsmith behind SZA's "Doves In The Wind," Chance The Rapper's "Blessings (Reprise)" and Isaiah Rashad's "Free Lunch," launched his brand new single, “TenderHeaded,” but this time around, the Chicago-based native of Las Vegas is both behind and in front of the boards.
The single, featuring a stellar guest verse from Smino, is a sweet ode to the trials and tribulations of his youth. Cam recounts sullen trips to the barbershop and the “pitfalls of adolescence / spitballs and scrabble sessions and tattle-tales / playing around in the hallway like one of Santa's elves.”
Cam’s staccato delivery gives the original sample room to breathe and saturate the track with hues of pink and orange. As a nice counterforce, Smino brings his syrupy, by way of St. Louis flow to the track, spitting a freeing verse about pursuing music and working against the system to follow his dreams.
As for that baby in the background, Cam employed a familiar face. "The baby is my real life nephew," he told DJBooth via text. "I sampled him laughing"
“TenderHeaded” is the first single from Cam O’bi’s highly-anticipated solo debut album, Grown Ass Kid. And yes, we’re just as excited as you are.