From Common back in the ’90s to present day artists such as Saba and Noname, Chicago has a long-standing history of jazz-rap.
Recently adding to this tradition are Black Tide Entertainment MC’s Maushéa and Kai Akili with their single, “Only (Remix).” This recently released cut is a reimagining of the track “Only,” which appeared on Maushéa’s recently released EP entitled “Seeds.”
The instrumental, produced by Mike Jones, has a cool and tranquil vibe. The baseline thumps along at a steady and rhythmic pace while a horn section cascades in and out in the background. These production elements in combination with the lush-sounding vibes and pulsating percussion make for an ethereal, jazzy backdrop.
Maushéa takes the first verse on here, and her laid-back vocal inflections are perfectly in-sync with the tracks’ aesthetic. She muses on living her life how she sees fit as well as wanting to find her own place in the rap game. Her lines are poetic as she threads together a passionate essay on self-reliance, concluding at the end of her verse that it’s better she stay in her own lane.
Kai Akili follows up with a poetic verse of his own, meditating on a girl who he finds himself in a confusing relationship with. There is a sentiment of tug-and-pull throughout his verse as he appears to have conflicting feelings towards her. However, just like Maushéa in the verse before him, Akili ultimately comes to the conclusion that it’s better he stay in his own lane.
Maushéa and Kai Akili are two MC’s that you’ll want to keep on your radar. Between the poetic lyricism and jazzy aesthetic reminiscent of countless Chicago MC’s to come before them, the future looks bright for these two up-and-coming wordsmiths.
“Only (Remix)” is now available on all platforms.