Chicago’s Just Adam Surprises with Stellar, Must-Listen Project, 208

 Evan Dale // Sep 5, 2018 

For fans of the lyrically undeniable, for fans of the Chicago contemplative, for fans of grass-roots rapping, Just Adam’s new project, 208 is just traditional enough to draw to it the classicists. But don’t get it twisted, Just Adam and 208 are products of a complicated and diverse contemporary hip-hop soundscape. The artist, undoubtedly best described first as a firm and true lyricist, also wears the many hats necessary for a modern hip-hop creative. Just listening to 208, a project as informed by classic Chicago production and retro lyricism, as it is by modern rap-sung hybrids and electronic R&B collaborations, it’s impossible to put Just Adam into any boxes not self-crafted by his distinct sound. 


And that’s from where our love for the project has stemmed. 


Through the first three tracks of the project, Crib Bounce95 In Me, and Hang Time, Just Adam takes time flexing his penmanship and seamless delivery in the booth. In a growing hip-hop spectrum where lyricism has certainly taken a backseat to a more wholesome musical approach, it’s refreshing to listen to a rapper rap, and even more reminiscent and welcoming when they can drop a collection of vintage NBA references.


But, what artists like that have failed to do in the past is bridge the gap to the modern hip-hop scene where vocalism and harmony with production tend to take first priority. And that’s why, by the time the fourth track, Timeless comes around, it’s a revelation. Just Adam’s ability to switch up the mood altogether with a mellow soul hook overtop his signature flow is not only tasteful, but also the perfect bridge into 208’s interlude, Forever Home.


Forever Home, though only the project’s calming intermission, breaks down Just Adam’s ability to its foundation and builds upon it a lovable, bouncy house filled with bubbly electronica and understated vocals. Its inviting to say the least, but also inviting to the electronically-dominated production and mellow moods that close out the album.


Through the continuation of My NightLil Bro Big Bro, and Everything, Just Adam’s mature lyricism and impeccable storytelling ability make 208’s finale one worthy of an encore. The groovy electronic production continues to work its way through the tracks and does so overtop his established knack for doing it all and more with his vocals and his pen.


Honestly, 208 is the first we’ve heard from Just Adam, but it’s a project that has inspired a further dive into his canon’s past and a further want into the future of his and the greater Chicago scene’s continuously expanding hip-hop future.


The Nashville Hip-Hop artist is a bridge between the past and the present where rap's most sacred tenants, rhythm & poetry, coalesce with his vision for modern social progress and  damn good vibes. 


We spoke on the creative change of pace, on the process of piecing together what’s next, on performance, collaboration, and influence. His responses duly read of honesty, humbleness, and soul.  


Born in and permanently inspired by Houston, Bobby Earth finds heavier inspiration only at the crossroads of soul music and love.  


Splitting time between his home and Los Angeles, wide-ranging Jamaican artist of sunshiny vibes and warm-weather anthems, Tessellated is impossible to box in. 



Kwaku Asante | honeycomb


Ari Lennox | Shea Butter Baby


Freddie Gibbs | Best in Show


YBN CordaeThe Lost Boy


Cousin Stizz | Best in Show


SAINt JHN | Best in Show


Kwaku Asante | honeycomb

Ari Lennox | Shea Butter Baby

Brandon Banks | SELF

YBN Cordae | The Lost Boy 

KTOE | I'm Mad

Freddie Gibbs | Bandana

Femdot | Rap City

Kojey Radical | Cashmere Tears

Ciscero | Good to Know

Joey B & Boj | No Waste Time

Smino | Trina

Serious Klein | Lil Capo

[2018  IN REVIEW]


Mahalia | 2018's

Best Artist


2018's Best Projects


2018's Best Artists


SAINt JHN| 2018's Best

New Artist 


Noname's Room 25 | 2018's Project of the Year


2018's Best New Artists



MfnMelo & Saba | What A Life 

TOBi | Faces 

Rexx Life Raj | Father Figure 3 


Christian Kuria | Losing You 

Jacquees | King of R&B 

Bennett | Give Me A Reason  


Kwaku Asante | Sunday 

Berhana | HAN 

Free Nationals | Shibuya 


Adekunle Gold | Young Love

SIDIQ | Brand New Day 

Jesse Markin | Folk 


ROLE MODEL | oh, how perfect 

Omar Apollo | Hit Me Up 

Emerson Leif | Wake Up With You 


FKJ | Yling Ylang 

Tourist | Kin 

Shmuck the Loyal | Hypervade 



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