Chuckie Campbell – “Speak”

Chuckie Campbell

Chuckie Campbell’s new album More Die of Heartbreak takes its name from the Saul Bellow novel of the same name, a good indication of the emotional depth this gifted rapper from Buffalo, NY is capable of unleashing. Racial divide, religious conflict, and broken friends are some of the topics touched on in standout “Synesthesia”, which glides over a beautiful crystallized melody with a somber piano leads, wispy synths, and an occasional faint guitar. The track’s tonal emphasis on the heartbreak of intolerance around the world is wholly devastating. “In a world full of color all we see is blacks and whites,” Campbell raps, before an interlude where he repeats contrasting words like “rich, poor, old, young, gay, straight, hate, love, hearing, color… lost, found.” It’s a very powerful effort, one of several on Campbell’s impressive new album, More Die of Heartbreak.

The string-based melody on “Speak” is also killer. It’s one of the best hip-hop beats I’ve heard in some time, and Campbell takes good advantage of it. Listen to its stunning incorporation of somber crying strings and organ bursts below. Both tracks are off Campbell’s new album, More Die of Heartbreak, which features guest spots from Wu Tang members Cappadonna and Solomon Childs, Cole Jonique, Block McCloud, and Erin Breeding.

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Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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