Word On The Street: ChillinIt – Women Weed & Wordplay
Written by admin on December 5, 2018
Perhaps the greatest by product of hip-hop’s rise to a global entity has been seeing how different people from different locales put their own unique spin on it. It’s as if this music that started in the Bronx and traveled across the country, and then the world, was inhaled by fans and artists across the continents and then blown back out but in a different form. Today, artists from all corners of the map are making a name for themselves through their one-of-a-kind take on the art of rap.
Enter Australian underground artist ChillinIt.
Plenty of emcees claim to be on the grind, but he actually embodies it, having been consistently putting out material for nearly a decade, repping Body Bag Media, and amassing a loyal and rabid fanbase in the process. Recently, he dropped his long-awaited and highly anticipated debut, Women Weed & Wordplay, which hit the top of the Australian Hip-Hop/R&B chart, an impressive feat for an independent LP.
It’s fitting that the opening track is titled “Energy” because ChillinIt, who describes himself as the
Aussie that’s swaggin’ with Nautica jackets and shrimps on the Barbie
spits with such urgency and enthusiasm that it’s not hard to believe the stories about how crazy his live shows are. When he and fellow down under artist Wombat connect and both unleash their rapid fire delivery, as they do on both “Energy” and “Underrated,” they sound like a 2018 version of Onyx with Australian accents. Elsewhere, his cross-continent collaboration with the grind MC from England, Kamakaze, “Aus2UK,” presents a striking juxtaposition between the sound of the two, once again showing how versatile worldwide hip-hop can be. ChillinIt’s flow is soaking wet and he attacks every track with gusto, referencing both Big L and cricket matches with equal aplomb.
The LP itself certainly lives up to its title.
Women? Just look at the album cover.
Weed? As an artist whose crew and fans refer to themselves as the “420 Fam,” and with songs like “420 Queen Street,” “Up Up and Away,” and even a skit about a misplaced lighter, ChillinIt clearly enjoys his bud.
And Wordplay? It’s there in torrents. On “One Breath One Take,” a two-and-a-half minute verbal barrage that is the most lyrically impressive song, he opens with stacked Migos references: “Raindrop, droptop/I got ‘migos that pass the weed/I’m not Offset but I set off with the Takeoff/Prolly why the hottie gotta body like Cardi B.” Elsewhere, he does something similar with the cast of Jackass. To catch all of this, the listener must ensure that his ears are attuned because ChillinIt won’t slow down for anything.
Title subject matter aside, it would be a mistake to assume that all of ChillinIt’s rhymes are about superficial topics because there are revealing moments of vulnerability scattered throughout. On the short final track,
I Can’t Sing But It Helps the Pain (Leave Me)
he lets his guard down and warbly croons lines like
I treat my memories just like my enemies/Fuck it, I bury them.
Understandably, his pain is most clearly evident when he’s speaking on his child’s death.
I feel numb to the fact that I lost my son/I can’t take back the years,” he scrams on “Energy.
He touches on the subject again at the close of the disc’s most emotional song, “Inner Thoughts (Honestly)” with
I get stuck in a train of thought/Where I can’t feel pain at all, praise the lord/That I’d still be alive but at times I would die/And I give back my life to make sure my baby’s born.
These cuts hint at something deeper, which is important if he wants to make the leap to international star, because while the album is strong, it’s not flawless. There are weak spots to be found and many of the beats sound very similar to one another. Moreover, the repeated weed talk can get a bit tiresome over fifteen tracks, even if his array of skills on the mic manage to prevent complete monotony or boredom from ever setting in. If ChillinIt hopes to be able to transverse oceans and make a splash in the U.S., he’ll have to expand his subject matter.
He certainly has the skills and work ethic to do it and, if his debut is any indication, he’s well on his way.
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Christopher Pierznik’s nine books are available in paperback and Kindle. In addition to his own site, his work has appeared on Medium, XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, Medium, Fatherly, Hip Hop Golden Age, and many more. Subscribe to his monthly newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.