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I’m thankful for the first full-length collaboration between Chicago rappers SD and Brian Fresco, the new Muddbruddas (Empire). Its mere existence takes a wrecking ball to the tired cliche that the local scene is split into two camps, “drill” and “alternative hip-hop,” that are isolated from each other’s sound and influence. When Chief Keef kicked off the drill boom in 2012, SD was part of the crew around Keef’s label and collective, Glory Boyz Entertainment. Meanwhile Fresco arrived on the scene with Save Money, the collective that made international headlines in 2013 when members Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper became crossover phenoms. Neither SD nor Fresco rap according to any sort of template established by the scene where they came up: SD has a dry, melodic flow and gives his words a lot of room to breathe, while Fresco uses a sidewinding style that makes his grizzled voice sound even wilder. On Muddbruddas they’ve figured out how to complement each others’ sensibilities to make both of them sound more animated. The back-and-forth playfulness in the resulting songs–particularly the AutoTune-flecked single “Teef Gold,” which also features Save Money’s Caleb James–can get downright whimsical. v
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