365 Days Since 'iNDigo Café,' Nashville's Chuck Indigo Shines Refined with 'No Moor Bad Days'
Evan Dale // Oct 8, 2020
365 days removed from the illustrative immersion that was iNDigo Café – a project that helped snowball the greater Nashville scene towards a tumbling of masterpieces in its 2020 wake – Chuck Indigo returns with No Moor Bad Days. Stylistically, productively, lyrically, vocally, it’s a further refinement from one of hip-hop’s most transcendentally melodic up-and-comers, while it’s also a refinement in all the same ways for a young Nashville scene that continues to put nails in the coffin for conversation about which creative locale has had the largest impact on hip-hop oriented culture this year.
Through it, Chuck Indigo’s affinity for the measurement of time feels worth dissection. One year to the day (October 7th) since the release of its predecessor, a particularly bizarre calendar has since ensured that fans feel a sense of vertigo when thinking about their space in this world from the time of iNDigo Café to now. Myriad allusions towards day in that work and in this one also bring time to mind while listening, prepping a listener for the depth and provocation of thought that ring permanent not only in Chuck Indigo’s work, but in that of his greater Third Eye & Co collective.
The team, which includes a brash range of talent from fellow rappers like JORDAN Xx, Ron Obasi, Demo, and Jxdece, to vocalists like Your Truly Jai and RyAnne, to behind the curtain creative powerhouses like SECK and more, boasts their own firm corner of a greater Nashville rising dominating hip-hop experimentalism and growth really since the onset of 2019. Since then, almost every Third Eye artist has released at least a collection of singles, if not a proper project of their own. JORDAN Xx’s Surfing: Highs N Lows, Ron Obasi’s Notes on a Scale & Notes on a Scale 2, Jxdece’s Runnin’ & Vent, Jai’s Monarch, and an unending slew of video masterpieces from SECK (who is also the thank for the No Moor Bad Days artwork). Through the growth of the many, continues the growth of the individual.
Expectedly, alongside Chuck Indigo’s whirlwind of quick-cadenced raps, melodic emotion, and the grey areas that tether them to one another throughout the display of growth which is No Moor Bad Days, his collaborators, too, put on an exhibition for the growth of Third Eye. After all, iNDigo Café only boasted two features: Nashville staples, Tim Gent and Brian Brown; whereas No Moor Bad Days brings into the fold guest spots from Demo, JORDAN Xx, Ron Obasi, RyAnne, and Jxdece. The collective range in their own sounds is perhaps what best highlights the unparalleled range of Chuck Indigo, alone.
He’s a lyrically endowed rapper, but to stop there at delineating his aesthetic would be short-sided. There isn’t a track on No Moor Bad Days that doesn’t also highlight the balance brought into frame by his ability to put together a melodic hook; that doesn’t also pull into frame his seamless transition from the rapped to the sung and back again. Even his hardest rapped verses feel entrenched in vocals; even his most emotional vocal hooks breathe of poetic lyricism.
Case and point: Okay Today. Before the effortless flow of JORDAN Xx comes in at the three-minute mark, Chuck Indigo spends his time crafting a mosaic of differentiated stylings that in any other era, from any other city, would have come from a chorus of four different features. An elated chorus constructed from his layered vocals, a downtempo bridge that breathes of its vocal distortion, a fiery first verse that few in hip-hop could match in pace and pen, a more mellow middle verse that sees Chuck Indigo exploring a more vocally proportionate delivery with a downplayed cadence. His range is outrageous, and yet he so effortlessly assembles them through the course of a singular track – through the course of a 40-minute album – that he invents – refines – a sound that only he seems capable of crafting.
It’s that greater aesthetic that drives the entirety of No Moor Bad Days, and what makes it a project that allows its title to serve as truth, at least when life is being soundtracked by Chuck Indigo. If life is about growth, range, and well-roundedness, No Moor Bad Days is the anthem, and Chuck Indigo, Nashville hip-hop’s most broadly curated creative.