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Midwestern hip-hop has been trebucheted from teensy underground scenes (with a few exceptions of course, most notably Eminem et al.) in recent years to a formidable geographical hotspot for the genre. Hip-hop may be rooted in the East/West coast 'old families', sometimes verging into Texas for Houston's burbling Southern rap, but the North - especially Chicago and Detroit - are becoming the go-to locales for gold medal hip-hop and progressive, frontier-shattering rappers and producers. Danny Brown, Chance The Rapper, Kanye, Lizzo and all their associated sidekicks, well-wishers and cronies, are but a few hip-hop diamonds in the rust belt's rough.

Another stellar outfit to emerge from the Midwest precinct is The Cool Kids; it's the collaborative sobriquet of Antoine 'Sir Michael Rocks' Reed and Evan 'Chuck Inglish' Ingersoll, a pair of venom-barbed tongues and revolutionary rap ideas. Their universally lauded debut When Fish Ride Bicycles bred a plethora of opportunities, and their soon-to-drop sophomore Shark Week has got scores globewide all in a fluster. Neither are content just working on one project though, and while Rocks has been churning out mixtapes, Inglish has been fine-tuning Convertibles, his first full-length solo LP.

'Elevators' heralds the album's arrival with crunchy, booming beats orbiting old-school '90s bass and Snoop Dogg synth stabs; it's a distinctly vintage-flavoured and sepia-shaded ditty. 'Legs' is in a similar vein. Chromeo's involvement makes it a funktastic paean, verging between Michael Jackson's '80s pop and classic '70s disco sounds - given the genre's Pharrell-led revival, this has the potential to be a breakout cut for Inglish. Jazz-rap ode 'Glam', featuring Chance The Rapper, boasts feral axe riffery, clarion trumpets and smoking jacket elegance. Opiate trap banger 'Dreamy' has twinkly harps and chiming pitched percussion. These are but a handful of examples of the incomparable production available on Convertibles - by Inglish himself, and Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger (who also played on Avicii's 'Wake Me Up'). Even when the lyrics are less than Byronesque poetry - like Mac Miller's misogynist waffle on 'Came Thru/Easily' ("Bitch my dick is waiting - you gon suck it or not?") - the production is enough to keep brains focused and interest sustained.

For Convertibles, Inglish has roped in a veritable horde of guest rhymers: Chance The Rapper, BJ The Chicago Kid, Mac Miller, Ab-Soul, Action Bronson, Chromeo, Vic Mensa and many more all crop up for a verse or two. Some might assume this is a lack of confidence either in his clout as a solo artist or in his tracks, and while it definitely raises the star power of the record, each brings fresh timbres and styles. It makes for a wildly varied anthology of tracks which feels like a concise mixtape rather than a 'typical' record. It's an album that sounds truly collaborative, raw and impromptu; it's a free-flowing ambience, and although it's probably been meticulously blueprinted, it never sounds like it. The first time you hear tracks like 'Money Clip' (which is fantastic) or 'Prism' (which is fantastic-er), they sound like they could be only hours old. As such, despite the glossy sheen glimmering on each track, Convertibles sounds wondrously ramshackle when it scoots between styles and lurches between guests.

Inglish's debut has been in the works for yonks. Now we've finally got it, we can admire and swoon at his razor-sharp knob-twiddling skills; it's a sublime atmosphere he's cultivated alongside Einziger, one that paints a leisurely, convivial, communal portrait of himself. It may be a bit malnourished in thematic ingenuity - it's not as honest as Old or Oxymoron, or as celebratory as Acid Rap - but the allure comes from ingenious, inventive production. It's a magnetic release that sounds like it should be a contender for Top 40 charts - the amount of disco/funk and pop, peppered throughout the classic hip-hop sounds are a goldmine in this post-'Get Lucky' era. Whether Inglish translates to a wider audience remains to be seen, but regardless, he can be proud of the party-in-a-can that is Convertibles.

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