An album before the album: it’s a trend in hip-hop known as the “mix tape” or “mix CD” where a collection of random songs are combined to create momentum for the big project, and in a way to test the waters in the hopes it will create a buzz. Naledge has not had a problem with any kind of buzz as one half of Kidz In The Hall. But this is different, this is an attempt at establishing himself under his own name, as a solo artist. The release of the mix CD Chicago Picasso (Major League/Duck Down) shows that he’s ready for the big leagues.
Chicago Picasso is a 20 track album that is done at a fast pace in that songs come and go, being thrown at the listener for the sake of attacking. On the album he says he calls himself a Picasso because like the celebrated artist, Naledge is about not delivering the same thing with each new song. The album has the dope hip-hop, and even features a few modern styles that some of his fans may be hesitant to believe he’s doing, but he’s doing it, and quite well. I think he’s better off with the real cuts, but if something new takes him to a new avenue, who am I to say “this is not good for him”?
Tracks like “Southside Shit”, “Futuristic Shit”, and “Standing On Sofas” bring to mind the celebration of words and wordplay, and when was the last time you could say that about any song, an album, by any rapper? I’m curious to know what this guy is molding for his proper album, because if one is to judge by this, he could easily come up with an album to set the trends for the next ten years.