Local Champaign rap legend Chase Baby showcases his comeback, an exclusive sneak peek into the new sound you can hear on his most recent album, to be released this summer. Since going on a self-healing and re-discovery journey, Chase Baby‘s got some cool things to rap about now, so enjoy his Quarantine Tapes session!
The passion Chase Baby has for creating and sharing music is evident in the way he presents himself, how he speaks about his craft, and in the articulation of his projects. He’s got jokes, and he’s got bars, simultaneously light-hearted and raw with his lyrics and message. Chase Baby speaks of gratitude and celebrating life, touching on themes of anxiety depression, growth, hardcore lyricism, and finding overall balance. His chaotic and versatile flow stems from being raised on the golden era hip-hop mixtapes his brother listening to growing up, and then getting into free-styling and learning to rap fast through Twista. Hopefully his personal anecdotes of grief from losing friends, lifestyle changes, anxiety and depression, body positivity, and overcoming living with a speech impediment inspire others with similar challenges to pursue living a more fulfilling and authentic life.
Chase Baby is funny and theatrical in his Quarantine Tapes to hint at what a live performance by him would be like in-person. He performed three new original songs for us, the first being a chill, feel-good smoke track full of bars. The second is a bop with a full-production beat and chorus with horns and uplifting energy. The third and final track he shared with us is a vulnerable homage to his recently passed friend and collaborator. The songs are meant to be released with his full length project this summer, which will be entitled The Blue Collar II, a more introspective sequel to the last record he put out in 2018 called The Blue Collar.
You can very distinctly hear the difference in his sound and lyrical content from before the pandemic to now having gone through the quarantine lock-downs and other life events that have shaken him. He took to heart all the down-time he was allotted in this historic time to dive deep into how he was living his life and going about his craft. Chase Baby speaks candidly about how quitting partying allowed him to rap more introspectively, so rapping is a therapeutic thing for him now. He claims to rap what he knows, and what we get is honesty about old habits of self-medication and masking life with substances, losing friends to OD, hurting and growing through the pain to find love for self and a new zest for life. Chase Baby truly has had a re-birth, and his music has taken on a new form of uplifting conscious hip-hop. The energy of his new truth has evidently been spreading like wildfire in his studio, as he’s been putting out EPs and records, both collaborative and solo, more consistently than ever before.
The fruits of his labors have been pouring out, and you can tell his music is more fulfilling for him. Watching him vibe with his supporting DJ for the Quarantine Tapes performance was magic. The energy was hot and full of love. If you’re interested in checking out the other musical projects of Chase Baby, I’ll give you a place to start with a short blurb about all the soul food projects he’s put out since 2020…
Call It a Day: is the 8-track collaboration with Haze Carbajal, who passed away 3 months after recording it. Top to bottom it has a real chill, lo-fi type feel with beautiful words flowing back and forth between the two artists.
The Dissociation EP: is a solo EP consisting of four songs; Murder, Lifelines, Sleep Paralysis, and Turn the Page. The short project presents itself as a collection of journal entries, each reflecting on personal experience and social commentary with introspective and candid lyrics, resembling a Milo-esque flow.
Chasin’ Treezz: was released exclusively on Bandcamp February 17th this year. It’s the love child of his collaborative efforts with his friend Treezz. The album was supposed to come out a while ago, but it got scrapped, and then they re-vised a few old songs and wrote 8 new songs for “side a” with the old songs on “side b”.
Leave of Absence: is a jazzy 3-track collaboration with Smoke Bonito released exclusively on Bandcamp January 14th this year, simply created to get some frustrations out in a cathartic way.