CHEF is an upcoming MC who’s been working on his rapping skills ever since he was a child. Over the years, he’s developed a passion for hip hop, which has led to the creation of his debut mixtape, THE RIDE. Being his first-ever major release, will this young up and comer be able to captivate audiences with a memorable debut statement?
Through just 11 tracks and a little over 34 minutes of run time, it’s clear CHEF has the burning desire to be great. From the swagger ridden but heartfelt intro “Take You On A Ride” to the glamorous outro “195”, this up and comer delivers a series of well-written verses that will have you quoting his one-liners for days. The way he goes about each song is super admirable. Cuts like “Vices” and “Spazz Out” thrive due to CHEF’s witty lyricism, which is funny most of the time. With a style like this, there’s certainly some room for a corny bar or two, and while there’s a few scattered around, most are hardly memorable. Adding to his artistic arsenal, CHEF handles all fronts as along with his lines of arrogance and humor, moments like “Go Thru It” and “Patience” highlight the introspective side. “Bigger Things” was a definite standout due to the fact we hear CHEF analyze himself and try to find a deeper meaning in the world he is surrounded by. Seeing such a young MC make a legit attempt at speaking on mental health and spiritual ideas feels so genuine and is truly another testament to the growing bag of tricks he’s developing. On this deeper side of the record, I found the cut “Memories” to be abysmal due to the lack of luster features who’s lifeless delivery seemed to even plague CHEF himself here. While the delivery never gets as bad as this song, CHEF’s vocal patterns were definitely his significant weakness. Between his occasional off-kilter flow and sometimes clunky utilization, a handful of moments felt like a trainwreck. Overall, none of these issues are too much to bear, and the CHEF’s strengths certainly outweigh his weaknesses in this tape.
Behind the boards, there’s an astounding soundtrack supporting every word of CHEF. Each instrumental is intuitive, and most bring something new to the ever-expanding sonic table that CHEF cooks at. Whether it’s iconic Walter White monologue featured on “Serotonin” or the classical piano rhythm seen on “Keep It Moving,” the ultimate x-factor within these diverse soundscapes comes in the force of minor sonic touches. The gleaming keyboard on “Vices” was my favorite of these as its subtleness adds suspense to the track and the overall dramatic contrast between the instrumental and CHEF’s pen game. Out of all the beats utilized, “195” was the surefire standout due to its angelic background vocals and orchestral crescendoing. My only real gripe in this department comes from some occasional mixing issues, which are slight but noticeable nonetheless. As a whole, the production job on the record is well done and displays that CHEF has a great ear for picking beats to match what he’s aiming for.
In conclusion, The Ride is a solid startup that certainly has enough character in it to sell you on CHEF as an artist and, more importantly, an MC. His charisma is off the charts, and while his delivery and flow need some mastering, his lyricism and songwriting are already above average. Going forward, I’m sure CHEF will only go up from here, and as he adventures on his musical journey, I’m sure he will evolve into one of the game’s premier names!
- Lyricism is creative and witty
- Well produced score
- CHEF shows off all the intangibles to be great
- Both humorous and emotional
- A little corny at times
- Poor mixing
- Most features are mediocre