Chicago hip-hop duo Local Nobodies might need a new name soon | Music Review | Chicago Reader

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Chicago hip-hop duo Local Nobodies might need a new name soon


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In their hip-hop duo Local Nobodies, Chicago rapper Sulaiman and funk multi-instrumentalist Chris Mathien (who also leads the band Mathien) unlock each other’s debonair charms in song. On their self-released second album, the new See What Happens, they embellish their grooves with sophisticated flair, and Mathien’s smooth, subtle production leaves Sulaiman plenty of room to show off the musicality of his voice. On tracks such as “Levels” and “Marmont,” he stretches his words casually and luxuriously, like he’s relishing the sensation of each vowel on its way out. The pair can summon a mood with the barest of elements—all they need is a laid-back, loungy guitar riff, an occasional dubby blast of percussion atop the mellow drum track, and Sulaiman’s echoing vocals to give “Old Souls” a magnetism that outlasts its 59-second run time. See What Happens is confident and fun, but many of its songs are so short that the album feels like an aperitif—when Local Nobodies get down to the meal, I have a hunch that their name will start to feel like misnomer in no time flat.   v

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