Perhaps it’s the blizzard that’s hitting the northeast as we speak. Perhaps it’s the fact that Clams Casino‘s hazy vibes are always reverberating somewhere in the background radiation of my brain. Whatever the case, Chicago emcee Ibn Inglor’s GawdsSpeed mixtape filled my quietly lurking need for dark hip-hop.
There is a cohesion to GawdsSpeed that makes it seem like a grower. Initially intriguing for its of-the-moment production (handled by an in house team that absolutely nails the mixture of mystical, atmospheric murk and southern-influenced thump that has crept into indie hip-hop and, thanks to A$AP Rocky, up the charts) and Inglor’s impassioned, clear-voiced rapping, I imagine repeat listens may reveal layers uncommon for a free release. Standouts “Le’Land,” “Hermes (Runnin’),” and “Lux” suggest a knack for unusual imagery and subtle explorations of faith that add weight to one of the tape’s central points of interest: Inglor’s embattled home city.
If your taste leans towards the dark recesses of rap, give GawdsSpeed a spin below.