Chughey’s latest EP is one that begins in a fairly familiar, contemporary manner, but soon evolves to become something much more thoughtful and conceptually impressive.
My Two Cents Is Free brings together four original tracks, beginning with the dreamlike ambiance and trap rhythm of Loki – a song that in itself seems to be one thing initially, but appears to offer many more layers and intricacies as it progresses. Chughey strikes as more than just a rapper – this is an artist; there are intentions here, story-lines, melodies, ideas. There’s as much depth and musicality as there is rhythm and rhyme, and for these reasons the EP connects more intensely the further along you get.
Ready follows the opener and seems to settle in to this Chughey style and sound much more quickly. The ambiance presents contrast between the industrial trap beat and these again dreamlike, gentle synth notes that echo among the outer layers. Alongside of this is a fine balance between poetic reflection, personality, story-telling and melody. The whole thing manages to intrigue and entrance all at once. The vibe is welcoming, calming, yet the content is deeper than it first appears – with each new listen you pick up on these details and the profound nature of the writing all the more so.
Picture sees the pace intensify – Chughey’s performance meets the needs of this with a notably heavier, louder and perhaps more outwardly passionate delivery. The concept is harder to swallow, but again the music has this ambient, smooth and contrastingly seductive quality. There are definite threads throughout this collection that keep it feeling very connected and conceptually relevant to itself. At the same time, each new story brings new emotions, and in every case Chughey introduces a fairly powerful and fresh hook section – often anthem-like but never intrusively so. A live show increasingly appeals as the songs pour through.
Things come to a close with the mellow, jazz-cafe tones of Spearfishing. This EP’s title brought about, for me, memories of early Eminem, and on this track that hint of influence seems to stand a little taller in Chughey’s performance – in the extra vocal fragments and the various peaks and falls within the flow. Musically this one seems all the more delicate and warm, though a thick bass-line overwhelms and keeps that intensity relevant. The lyricism is stunning, captivating and crisp in presentation. This one at the very least is worth more than a second and third run through just to let it all sink in. The same can honestly be said about the EP in full though.
Chughey keeps things personal yet welcoming, honest yet self-aware – intelligent yet real, often raw; always considerate. His work as an artist proves to be more and more impressive with each minute that passes by. The only thing missing is more, but it’s far better to leave your audience thirsty than to overstay a welcome. Absolutely an artist worth the time it takes to listen.