These Four Emerging MCs Show Real Talent On “Counterfeit” (Audio)
Chicago arts collective 119 delivers the second single off their upcoming Countdown 2 Midnight compilation, featuring Chi-Town wordsmiths Saba, Noname (formerly Noname Gypsy) and Phoelix alongside Brooklyn’s own Chelsea Reject. Contrary to the song’s title, on “Counterfeit,” all lyricists drop genuine, poetic bars riddled with poignant insight over dark, bass-heavy synths and some drums that seriously knock. Anything but fake, the track manages to touch on some very real issues, but without hitting listeners in the head with an overt concept.
For example, in Chelsea’s verse, the CMPLX MC expresses her aggravation regarding police brutality, and then goes on to address some of her financial worries: “I just wanna know how much more I can take / I just wanna know how much more I can wait / Sandra Bland, Sandra Bland, why they ain’t just let her go? / Traffic violations, loud music, ain’t nothin’ worth your soul / Melanin skin shine, they know it’s worth more than your weight in gold / I just had to make a move, I got tired of waiting, so / All I wanted was some space, peace of mind, just a piece of mine / See my momma cry, rent been due, we barely gettin’ by.”
Although this seems to be their initial partnership with Chelsea, it certainly isn’t the first time the track’s Windy City representatives have joined forces. Both Chance The Rapper collaborators, Saba appeared on a Noname single earlier this month—and Noname on “Church / Liquor” off Saba’s Bucket List Project, which dropped in October. The album also featured several tracks coproduced by Phoelix. In fact, all three worked together on “Shadow Man” off Noname’s debut mixtape, Telefone, which was released in August. They add “Counterfeit” to a growing list of dope collaborations from Chicago’s blossoming Indie Rap scene.