RZA & GZA Support Chicago’s Joey Purp With Some Exceptional Verses (Audio)

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Twenty-five-year-old Chicago MC Joey Purp first made waves when he dropped his sophomore mixtape iiiDrops in 2016. His buzz-worthy project balanced socially conscious, often braggy lyricism with gritty Windy City realism with a punchy delivery. The beat selection ranged from addicting dance rhythms to horn-laden production akin to an explosive early-2000s Just Blaze. And appearances by fellow Chi-town artists Chance The Rapper, Mick Jenkins, Vic Mensa, and Saba aided in Purp creating a name synonymous with Chicago. iiiDrops was the type of breakthrough success many rappers could only hope to achieve.

But Joey Purp seems to have solidified his undeniable Chicago charm with his recently-released debut LP, QUARTERTHING. Rather than only dabble with fellow Chi artists for his debut, Purp gathered some helping hands by reaching toward the east and tapping into the Wu-Tang Clan.

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QUARTERTHING’s second track, “Godbody – Pt. 2,” features RZA spitting a dizzying set of boastful bars. He serves the song’s intro up before Purp demolishes the beat, rapping: “A billion data, bitcoins and microchips, Intel Pentium, silicon and biochips / Sitting on Oprah’s sofa, my drink is on a solid gold coaster / Cigars with the capio, a Rock & Roll’er, you still rock the Casio / Ace Of Spade, popped on the patio, Aston Martin, powder, Blue and Pistachio.” Purp takes the reigns as he hastily spits into the mic some verbal daggers to prove he’s worthy of some RZA support: “I don’t owe nobody nothing, everything come straight from me / Young ni**a go get your bread, only thing that’s bred in me / Some my ni**as still alive, they already dead to me.”

Perhaps the most surprising feature on QUARTERTHING comes from GZA, who delivers a Spoken Word poem as the album’s closer. The poem, titled “In the Morning,” 30 seconds of GZA delivering an acapella : “I wake to the sound of the alarm clock ringing / Squirrels leave the burrows, early birds are singing / Just coming out of a dream state / Awake, visions fade, I think new thoughts and meditate / I open the curtains and pull back the drapes / A beautiful blue sky reflecting off a lake / Eyes fixated on the amazing view / The windows to my soul I am gazing through / The sun has risen in the east.

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QUARTERTHING is a stellar release in the ’18 landscape, just as iiiDrops was two years prior. This year, we’ve already seen Purp’s Chicago rap contemporary Saba release his solid 2018 effort, CARE FOR ME (included in Ambrosia For Heads‘ mid-year list), while this past weekend saw Noname release her album, Room 25. Joey Purp joins them with his explosive record, shouting from the city’s rooftops: And you say Chi city…