Chicago’s Bad Ambassadors use hip-hop as the glue for their genre-jumping debut | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Chicago’s Bad Ambassadors use hip-hop as the glue for their genre-jumping debut


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You might mistake Chicago duo Bad Ambassadors for a new group, since they’re just now dropping their debut—a self-titled EP of easygoing hip-hop filtered through sophisticated boogie, energetic yacht rock, and sleepy psych. But if you’ve been to even one local hip-hop show in the past five years, you’ll immediately recognize the silver voice on the tracks as belonging to rapper-singer Rich Jones. His partner in the group, producer Joseph Sepka (aka Walkingshoe), has been an active part of the community too, though less visibly; he’s made rich, psychedelic beats for the likes of ShowYouSuck, Qari, and Ness Heads, and in his solo project he combines straightforward acoustic ditties and adroit, glittery indie rock. In Bad Ambassadors, Jones sweeps his R&B drawl across Sepka’s nimble folk guitars and futuristic, hallucinogenic synths—and on “Who Me” he accompanies both with nonchalant glee. Their loose-limbed, pop-forward EP fits within its creators’ individual catalogs while suggesting exciting new possibilities for them as a team.   v

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