The album art for Supa Bwe's Dead Again 3
Rapper-producer Supa Bwe
provided local hip-hop group Hurt Everybody
with some of the heat that made their best material catch fire. As a rapper, he has an affection for Auto-Tune, and as a producer, he has a mosaicist's eye for collage. He'd been making solo material on the side, but he's since shifted his priorities—Hurt Everybody dissolved in January. Supa's not done with groups, though, and recently announced that he'd formed Fight Me with local rapper UG Vavy and producer Shepard Hues. Last week Fight Me dropped their first song, "Annie," which loosely references Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal." Its somber synths and synthetic vocal flourishes create a strange euphoria, which fits right in with Supa's catalog. He also included "Annie" on his new full-length, Dead Again 3
Supa constantly looks for new ways to make his alluring vocals feel fresh and magnetic. Dead Again 3
is filled with subtle melodic twists that underline his come-ons—including a riff on "Netflix and chill," which I'd normally respond to with a groan. Thankfully Supa manages to strip the phrase of its baggage by treating it casually instead of making it a punch line. I'm particularly keen on the taut, minimal bounce of "Come Close (Get Away)," whose synthetic melody sounds like someone plucking a koto. Supa intertwines it with a lean pattern of snaps that serves as the song's only percussion, and his vocals ripple with Auto-Tune, blossoming as he harmonizes with his own multitracked singing on the hook.
Supa Bwe plays the Portage tomorrow night
, opening for Brian Fresco, who's celebrating his new mixtape, Casanova
. The show also includes Katie Got Bandz, Mike Przm, Warhol.ss, and what the venue calls "the whole Save Money army"—that is, unspecified members of the collective that includes Fresco, Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, Joey Purp, Caleb James, and others.