As a certified music fiend, I’m constantly on the search for good music. New music, preferably. There was once an unfortunate time when I was completely immersed in the genres of rap and hip-hop, but thankfully, I have since grown out of that stage of arrested development. Despite my love for what some perceive to be “unconventional” music, I have not totally deviated from my affinity for rap and hip-hop.
2013 was a good year for me, overall. Musically, however, it was fantastic. I was lucky to hear countless singles, EPs, albums, mixtapes, collaborations, remixes and features. Some were mainstream while most weren’t even in the neighborhood. Whether swapping music with Spo or someone else, hitting a record store to make a purchase, perusing through music on iTunes or going back to the lab and discovering hidden gems, there was almost never a moment when music wasn’t infiltrating my brain.
Perhaps with artists like D2G, Psalm One, Vic Spencer, Vic Mensa, Chance the Rapper, Angel Davenport and the like, Chicago is enjoying a resurgence (again) on the hip-hop scene. One more for your ears: Martin $ky.
$ky released his debut project, TimeLESS, in September of 2013 and holy hell, was it a doozy. Thirteen tracks long, TimeLESS has no features (always a good formula when you can actually rap well) and includes production from P.U.R.P., Knxledge, Mndsgn and $ky, himself.
Martin’s flow is very smooth and the production on each track fits his seemingly mellow style. The almost monotone feel of his bars don’t come off as uninterested. Rather, he seems under control with a sure sense of where he wants to take each word, line, verse and song. His voice rises when need be and he accentuates profanities and certain phrases with purpose, and not just because he can. With no features, it is much easier to get a feel for his version of wordplay and lyrical content, as features can sometimes overshadow an artist’s entire work. Long a believer that all rap and hip-hop artists should have some input on their production, my favorite beats on TimeLESS were worked by $ky, including my favorite song on the project, “Contrast.” In addition to that track, the $ky-produced “LIMIT(LESS)” and “Pearl Gawd” are worthy of instrumental versions.
I was a little late to the party and didn’t download a copy of TimeLESS until roughly a week or so after it was released. However, it has not left the rotation since its induction into the Hall of Music that is my music library. Check Martin $ky’s SoundCloud for all of your non-TimeLESS musical needs and you can download TimeLESS here. 2014 should be an even better year than 2013, music-wise, and $ky’s work will be instrumental in Chicago establishing itself once again as a hotbed for hip-hop artists with something to prove.