The first nonnative settler in the city of Chicago, French-Haitian explorer and trader Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, died 197 years ago, and earlier today the DuSable Park Coalition
hosted a memorial ceremony
at Pioneer Court honoring its namesake. If you couldn't make it to the celebration you can find a substitute in Dusable
, a brand-new mixtape from Chicago rapper the Boy Illinois.
The mixtape is a tribute in name rather than execution. The MC is less concerned with describing the actions of a figure who helped establish Chicago than he is in focusing on the sounds and moments of living in this city today. The Boy Illinois rolls out pop-centric hip-hop production—opulent synths, pinging percussion, a healthy dose of handclaps—and pushes each track along with his approachable flow and personality.
He hits a high point with Chicago-rap Renaissance man DGainz on the dreamy "Stumbled," a love song on which the pair lace together euphonious Auto-Tune singing. The Boy Illinois professes plenty of sweet nothings, but the song resonates when it sounds like the MC is so smitten his words begin to blur together. The song's hook compares falling in love to being on drugs, and the Boy Illinois and DGainz underscore that point every time they make a word dissolve.
"Stumbled" is one of a handful of Dusable
tracks with serious hooks; take a listen to the whole thing below.
Leor Galil writes about hip-hop every Wednesday.