Chris Crack requires several listens before the brilliance of his gift resonates. He isn’t overly concerned with heady concepts, at least not by way of pushing such angles via his music. Instead, the Chicago rapper and vocalist does something few artists master which is to welcome the listener to experience his world in real-time and his latest release, Good Cops Don’t Exist, achieves that feat.
A prolific rapper with a Sears Tower-sized chip on his shoulder, Crack uses his unique vocal instrument – something of a mix between a sneering snarl and wisecracking conversational bent – to great effect. Much of his music works from an impulsive yet soulful space and what never slips out his reach is the memorable impression he leaves. All across Good Cops Don’t Exist, Crack’s humor and street-savvy visuals are as sharp as they’ve ever been.
Fans know full well that his penchant for zany album and song titles are as much part of the Chris Crack experience as the sonics. Opening with “Black Don’t Crack Unless You Smoke It,” Crack dances atop Passport Rav’s production, and, as it occasionally happens with Crack, the title of the track actually becomes a refrain.
With “I Know A Place,” Crack gives a shout to his New Deal Collective crew member and producer Cutta in the opening over Lakim’s production, which mirrors the soul-tinged groove of the previous track. Planet Asia’s Gold Chain Music crew gets a shoutout, signaling that Crack is connected with the top-tier wordsmiths of his ilk.
“Jail Pose With Gangstas” slows down the pace just a touch and again, Crack stretches his voice to match DJ Chong Wizard’s somber production.
“Don’t you ever in your trash ass life/Man, I do this for them n*ggas, had to bag that white/For the ones up in the prisons ‘cause they caught a bad flight/For the Black kids that never made it home that night,” Crack raps on the hook, giving way to a blistering verse for the talented Rome Streetz, who delivers a scene-stealing matching Crack’s grit and passion.
U.G.L.Y. Boy Modeling, also an extremely slept-on genius-level wordsmith, flexes his production muscle by providing the beat for “Cute With Low Self Esteem,” and “Hand Fulla Fupa” finds Crack reconnecting with Cutta with co-production from Jimi Wingate, this time highlighting Crack’s singing ability, his secret weapon that he employs on almost every release.
The album ends with “Keep It Delicious,” a straight R&B track with U.G.L.Y. Boy Modeling’s strained falsetto fitting right in with Crack’s subdued vocals over Cutta’s woozy track.
Good Cops Don’t Exist is another addition in the high-quality discography of Chris Crack, solidifying his position as just not one of the Midwest top talents, but an artist on the cusp of being recognized as one of the best of his generation.
Time will tell where this album will eventually land by way of rank in the lengthy catalog of Crack, considering that it appears he hasn’t even tapped into a quarter of his vast ability. However, longtime fans and new listeners alike should find plenty to enjoy about Good Cops Don’t Exist as the summer winds down and the world awaits what Chris Crack decides to do next.
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Photo: Skyler Durden