Chicago rapper Nick Astro digs deep on violence

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  • Courtesy of Nick Astro's Facebook page
With Pitchfork Music Festival on the horizon I've been spending large chunks of time listening to a smattering of acts on the bill to get properly prepared; I've been breaking up those listening sessions with Teeflii and DJ Mustard's Fireworks, Ty Dolla Sign's Beach House 2, and whatever select tracks I fall for while scrolling through Twitter and my RSS feed. (I haven't gotten into Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail past some cursory listens that left me fairly underwhelmed—sorry, folks.)

One track that's stuck out recently is Nick Astro's "Animals." It's a loose freestyle rapped over Outkast's "Elevators (Me & You)," and Astro hooked me with a lyric about the violence that plagues parts of the south side: "what happens at night usually happens during the noontime." It's a deceptively simple line and Astro delivers it with a nonchalance that gives a hint of how commonplace violence is in parts of this city. There's rage burning beneath Astro's flow, but he spits that one line with such ease it'd be easy to miss the sharp comment—it's heavy too, especially following a particularly grim weekend.

Astro's will drop a mixtape called Super 16 on Tuesday, which happens to be July 16—until then check out the video for "Animals" below.

Leor Galil writes about hip-hop every Wednesday.

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