By Holden Caplan
Joey Purp is someone who could have come and gone from rap. A member of the Chicago-based Save Money crew, which fostered artists like Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa, he was definitely not a standout performer. His previous album iiiDrops was an excellent chance for him to shine, but few paid attention. For his fans, it never seemed like he was trying to become famous. Joey just seems like a guy making music for music’s sake, testing out the waters of the Chicago rap-scene while he is still young.
On QUARTERTHING, Joey Purp goes from taking a dip, to diving in to an album of amazing tracks. He takes a cue from the acid house scene of his city and uses it as the backdrop to many of the albums best tracks like “Elastic.” However, he chooses to not make this sound over encompassing by sprinkling church soul tunes with “Hallelujah” and far out techno bangers on “2012” and “Karl Malone.” QUARTERTHING is a perfect amalgamation of 2018’s sound, a redefining of the classics by making straight hits out of them.
Purp is not the same person he was on his previous album. He’s gone from womanizing songs like Girls to rapping about the love of his life and raising a child. On “Hallelujah” he shares his current laments in a smooth fashion:
“Now will somebody bring some real ones to the studio
Man I'm tired of groupie love in the studio
They say I went Hollywood and I can't believe them cause
Every morning I wake up to something from a movie role”
The songs aren’t too deep on the surface, but they share a level of comfortability about what happens when you start to grow as person while your peers stay stagnant. Most rappers his age would be happy with a flock of fangirls ogling him, but he seems done with that. He understands the importance of honesty, integrity, and real people. He feels a need to be truthful with his peers and women, and that means telling them he’s not a child anymore. Regardless, his songs still are hits made for the kids.
What’s even more cool than being a rapper dad is that he goes hard as fuck on beats that just seem expensive. These songs sound like they should blasted out of Escalade with blacked out windows. Taking cues from chicago’s dance scene, those 808 drums mixed with heavy horns and claps can get you moving in the club and on your walk to class. Joey’s joy is just infectious. He understands he’s changed, and is ecstatic over this fact. He knew what would work, what he wanted to create, and he put an album together than showcased his abilities without trying to one-up anyone else.
In a recent interview for Complex Joey stated, “I’m gonna make passionate and inspired music for a long time,” he adds. “But I definitely want to make things outside of music as well. I just have to condition my mind and body so that when I show up to execute anything I can do it well."
Wherever Joey is currently at in his headspace, he is currently tapping into something beautiful. We can only hope he continues on his current path to musical industry stardom. He seems to knows better than us where that will take him.