[From Excellent Reception : Episode 1]
In May 2015, a mysterious new release appeared on iTunes as a free download. This new piece of music was the debut album “Surf” from a group called Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment.
I happened to find out about this randomly from a few messages in my twitter feed that mentioned that this was a new project from Chicago MC Chance the Rapper. Knowing that I waited way too long to check out Chance’s debut “Acid Rap”, I definitely had to download this right away.
It took me a little bit to understand why the artist on this release wasn’t labeled as “Chance the Rapper. Are we sure that this isn’t just his sophomore album? It turned out that Donnie Trumpet is a real person. He is this amazing musician/producer from Chicago and The Social Experiment is his band… and Chance the Rapper is basically the lead singer.
This album appeared on the scene just a few months after Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” raised the bar on how standard hiphop production and live instrumentation can co-exist. On “Surf”, The Social Experiment walks the same path but digs deeper into jazzy and soulful sounds while keeping a strong hiphop back bone. Chance even spends more time showing off his raspy yet skilled singing voice, than just sticking to the “Rapper” in his name. The big surprise on the project is the huge list of guest performances. J Cole, Migos, Erykah Badu, Big Sean, Jesse Boykins III, and more all drop by.
When I took my first listen to “Surf”, I was immediately hit with a track that captured the spirit of the whole album, “Slip Slide”, which features the album’s biggest line up: Busta Rhymes, B.O.B., Jonelle Monae, and BJ the Chicago Kid.
THIS IS AN EXCERPT FROM THE EXCELLENT RECEPTION PODCAST. EACH EPISODE OUR HOST, LIL’DAVE, TALKS ABOUT THE STORIES AND INFLUENCES AROUND A GROUP OF CAREFULLY SELECTED SONGS. SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST NOW VIA ITUNES.