For Chase Murphy, This Is Just The “Tip of the Iceberg”
On January 18th, Boston hip-hop artist Chase Murphy released his most recent EP, Tip of the Iceberg. Filled with a mix of hip-hop bangers, electro-pop bops, and an excellent Mick Jenkins feature, Tip of the Iceberg shows this up-and-coming artist at his best. From the titular opener to “Magic” at the end, the seventeen-and-a-half minute EP takes the listener through the braggadocio and fears of an independent up-and-comer. The beats hit hard. The lyrics are solid. The organization of tracks is immaculate. I guess I should explain more than just that, though, right?
Right off the bat, “Tip of the Iceberg” (the track) sees Murphy discussing that although his journey in music has already been long, this is only the beginning. He admits that he’s patient enough to “wait until it’s [his] turn,” but the beat betrays a sense of needed immediacy. The keyboard-centered instrumental has an icy feeling, calling to mind an East Coast winter with trap drums, atmospheric synthesizers, and a bass line focused primarily on the upper register. All of these things come together to perfection, allowing the lyrics to fuel the fire within Murphy to keep moving through the cold and show the world the rest of his talent.
“No Peakin” features Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins, and although Chase Murphy’s lyricism and vocal performance are incredible here, Jenkins is the star of the track. His verse is phenomenal, and his flow fits within the groove so well that it feels like the beat was made specifically for him. However, this does give Murphy some more leg to stand on. Getting a cosign from Mick Jenkins at this point in his career is a sign that the Chicago rapper believes in what Murphy represents and is striving for. “No Peakin” sees two independent rappers acknowledging how much work they have to put in, but it never feels like they’re complaining about that. They enjoy the grind, and they’re ready to consistently prove what they can do in the hip-hop landscape. I admire that energy.
“Yellow Brick Road” has the line “Flow covered in butter like king crab,” and that is a phenomenal line. The rest of the track is a self-reflection that feels like a bit of a step back from the energy of the first two tracks on the EP, but the synthesizers throughout the track are reminiscent of ice levels in video games, continuing the icy theme. That word will come up a lot, and it’s because though the bars may be hot, the flows and grooves are ice cold.
“Friends” is an interesting track about Murphy’s relationships with his friends, both fake and real. The highlight of this song is absolutely the beat, because the content of the vocals is a theme that has been done fairly frequently in hip-hop. However, that’s not to say Chase Murphy does it poorly. He executes it in incredible fashion. It’s just a theme that has been done so many times before that it’s hard to see anything new within the context of the song. However, that theme coupled with this beat? Exceptional.
When I mentioned electro-pop bops earlier, I was referring specifically to “Scrumptious.” Where every other beat feels straight out of the Mick Jenkins jazz-rap school with a Boston twist brought in by Chase Murphy, “Scrumptious” has 90’s dance influence on the synth sounds, and the beat sounds like it’s straight out of a Eurobeat club. Lyrically, the song gets pretty explicit about what exactly Murphy wants to happen with this “Scrumptious” person, but it works well with this kind of beat. Those synth stabs get me every time.
Finally, “Magic.” “Magic” is an exceptional closer. I honestly don’t want to spoil anything about the track. Just go listen to it. Even out of context of the EP, it’s an incredible song. Anything more I say will just be repeating that sentiment.
Chase Murphy has a bright future ahead of him, and if Tip of the Iceberg truly is just the tip of the iceberg, then this is going to be one incredible ride. Check out the EP below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!