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#CMPLX Is Finally Here (Second Underground Spotlight on Chelsea Reject)

Elijah Powell, Staff Writer/ Opinion Editor

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If you follow my underground spotlight series on The Lance, you may have seen my review of Chelsea Reject and her outstanding breakout mixtape from last year. SPOILER ALERT: Her latest release, CMPLX is just as good, if not even better.

 

I pretty much knew it would be like this, but from the first song, the production blew my mind. Every song on the project is original, unlike her debut project, and the sound suits her but is definitely a step up from Radi-8. This includes her lyrical delivery, which incorporates more instances of rapid fire flow, and even some melodic swoons here and there. Listeners can tell that on this release her soul is truly free…. “like a mason”…I thought that was a cool line she said.

 

The album opens up with “Bam Bam”, produced by Lost Jimi, an explosive dancehall infused track on which Chelsea lays down lyrics making any of her potential competitors squeal. The beat is familiar to anyone familiar with dancehall music, but bangs harder than the original song the beat is built upon because of the extra gritty snares added. Not going to lie, average music fans may be turned off by this, but I implore you to keep listening and not click on another mixtape. People not ignorant to hip hop’s history will definitely appreciate the nod to a classic dancehall record, though, being that much of hip hop music’s sound is rooted in dancehall and reggae.

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Many of the other songs follow the typical trap rap music drum patterns, and if they don’t use the 808 drums, the drums used still follow trap music’s rhythm, like the project’s fifteenth track “Far Away”. This is not boring at all, though, because the samples used keep the songs just as authentic as Chelsea’s lyrics. Songs like “Everything’s Change” and “Viiibes” are where she utilizes swift delivery of lyrics, and she articulates them very well, so listeners’ satisfaction does not solely stem from the flow. Of course, my bias opinion is that she truly shines on the more organic beats she raps over, like “Trees”: “I’m so crazy/ The only way you shut me up is to assassinate me/ But ask yourself this question, what have you accomplished lately?/ Nothin’, huh?/ That’s why you got somethin’ to say and you’re always judging, huh?” This line is pretty much the story of any and every rebellious artist’s life. CMPLX is full of similar messages, so it is pretty hard for someone like me not to enjoy it.

 

Chelsea’s frequent partner in crime, T’nah Apex, makes many appearances on the album, her angelic vocals making an already great album greater. Also, her single “So High”, a favorite of mine, gets revamped with her voice, as well. Other features include Pro Era members Nyck Caution, CJ Fly, Kirk Knight, and Dyemond Lewis, and Brooklyn emcee ATOWNomas.

 

Bottom line is, I think this is the first 9.5 out of 10 hip hop album of the year, because it is. If you haven’t already, go cop it on iTunes or stream it on Soundcloud.

 

Happy listening, my peoples. PEACE.

 

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The student news site of New Milford High School, New Milford, New Jersey
#CMPLX Is Finally Here (Second Underground Spotlight on Chelsea Reject)