Kelechi Delivers Most Underrated Project of 2018 with Spring Breakup
Evan Dale // Jul 1, 2018
The audacity to create an independent take on T-Pain’s defining I’m Sprung requires not only an artist absurdly confident in his music, but an artist even more confident in the hyper-sexual prowess of his signature sonic texture. Thankfully for us all, Kelechi, from what he has delivered lately, would seem to be this generation’s Al Green, and Sprung is merely the opening song of an entire 8-track project equally rich in his bold approach, wide-ranging talent, and knack for lyrical storytelling. Bounds are completely thrown aside by the Atlanta artist’s approach who spends his time bending and breaking the traditional spheres of stylized musicality for an outcome so unique and yet so simultaneously relatable, that it’s shocking Kelechi’s smooth, baritone sound isn’t yet as popular as T-Pain’s autotune was in ’05. But, with the release of Spring Breakup, that time may very well come.
The album, which features the three lead-up singles put out prior to its release, Too Much, Bag, and I Ain’t Shit, adds on an additional five tracks that place the respective singles into a deep-seeded and seemingly personal storyline exploring themes that the album’s title would assume.
The proper follow-up to Woke Up To Winter, Kelechi’s album from earlier in the year, Spring Breakup not only builds upon the thematic divulgences we’ve come to expect from the lyrically-endowed artist, but also builds on his impressively wide-range of vocal approaches. Those approaches, which range from a smooth, R&B delivery to an impossibly quick-cadenced ability to put together rap verses, grant the project somewhat of a collaborative feel where one very talented artist is able to approach each verse and chorus so differently that he may as well list himself as a feature on each track.
If you want to hear both on full, vibrant display, we recommend I Ain’t Shit which, from the 1:39 mark to 2:12 Kelechi speaks from the stance of his Tinder date and drops what at this point tops our list for verse of the year:
So my daddy hit my mama and I never told ya honor
So when my n***a beat me, I just figured it was karma
I used to justify it like, he could't hit me harder
'Til I woke up at the hospital, they thought I was a goner
They put me in a hot seat, it felt just like a sauna
They asked if I would press a charge, and I ain't really wanna
Started blowin' Mary Jay because I ain't want no more drama
And it's easier to smoke it all than cope with all the trauma
I hate that we was everything I wanted us to be
And then they came and locked him up before I was strong enough to leave
And I ain't gonna hold ya, I ain't really got closure
And I'm only tellin' you because it's honor amongst the thieves
And I know my mama loved my daddy more than she was scared of him
She just knew his foster parents, they were never fair to him
Knowin' that might just make this a little less embarrassin'
I fuck n****s on Tinder 'cause I can't afford a therapist
The subsequent chorus is as addicting and toe-tapping as any we’ve heard in the popular hip-hop realm this year, all the while lyrically traversing important and meaningful ground. Like we’ve noted before, that dualist approach is what defines Kelechi most as an artist and separates him from any other.
At this point, we’re not at all surprised in the quality of the entire album, nor by its wide berth of sonic texture. It’s what we’ve come to know from Kelechi’s prior work. What we are impressed with is just how much growth he seems to experience from each release to the next – especially when taking into account the breakneck pace of his releases.
At an epoch in hip-hop history where the artists who boast the most thorough and widespread ranges of talent and ability are quickly taking over not just the confines of the genre, but all of music, Kelechi, by way of Woke Up To Winter and now with Spring Breakup is primed for a successful rise through the lustful hearts of the industry. Uniqueness, after all, is what we need more of, and Kelechi is nothing if not an intriguingly independent force that connects with the raunchy nympho and downtrodden soul in all of us.