The underlying genius of the ever-expanding Chicago scene can be heavily attributed to the innovative endeavors of composition quartet, THEMpeople. The collective not only boasts frequent collaborative efforts with some of the city’s most intriguing figures – Chance the Rapper, Mick Jenkins, Noname, Smino, Jean Deaux – they also create and deliver finished products internally thanks to each member’s multi-dimensional talent spectrums.
theMIND, the THEMpeople member most frequently transcending his production role, has a new release, Ice Blue Bottom, that proves it’s not only the group’s identity which is well-versed and varied, it’s also each individual. When he released his last single four months ago, EW2RTW, it was a clear and vibrant continuation of his vocal growth, but somewhat of a foundational breakdown from the then expected upbeat vibes felt on Summer Campand other prior work.
But there was a lot to love about the undertone delivery and solemn emotional reach. There was also a lot to appreciate about the bold take in a new direction.
Ice Blue Bottom is yet another experimental release rich in sonic variation and courageously creative decision making. With his existing soulful vocal talent, it took mere cadence shift and the brilliance of a THEMpeople production to deliver a new take on his sonic texture very much in ode to a styling à la BJ the Chicago Kid’s signature. An unpredictably bouncy yet fluid stream of vocals, deeply profound and stirring lyricism, and of course, a humble but explosive underlying composition ties it all together as perhaps theMIND’s most intriguing and innovative release to date.