ThatBoyBK is a Wisconsin based hip-hop producer working together with Chico Steez to put Wisconsin Hip Hop on the map. Hot off of their first release with longtime collaborator Rocco, the duo of ThatBoyBK and Chico Steez drop their latest single “Outer Space”. Both covers were designed in collaboration with Joe Neuenfeldt and Cassidy Cooper under the guidance of ThatBoyBK. There’s plenty of classic keyboard sting to be found here, as the producer branches out his sound, letting the rapper’s imagination run wild on a diverse sonic canvas. And spitting vibranium bars is light work for Chico Steez.
In doing so, he and ThatBoyBK create room for themselves in the new-age hip-hop era, and do a solid job of showing their classmates how it’s done. “Outer Space” is a masterclass in adapting to a continually changing musical climate, while retaining the freedom necessary to do what you love.
ThatBoyBK and Chico Steez create an intersectional pulpit, between classic and modern rap, to amplify their talents in the contemporary hip-hop scenario, as they work their way up the industry ladder. And when they’re on a track, you feel compelled to listen. It doesn’t hurt that the talented Wisconsin emcee has flavorful, drool-inducing production courtesy of his partner.
But even without that gorgeous musical backdrop from ThatBoyBK, the track would be enthralling enough to make your head nod on its own, what with Chico Steez’s nimble flow, and inventive rhymes. No doubt, the two have undeniable chemistry throughout “Outer Space”.
ThatBoyBK and Chico Steez push against decades of hip-hop clichés, with freshly written lines that somehow put a new lyrical slant on well-known themes like stacking papers. The duo’s pinpoint verbal specificity reveals a rap group woke enough to be relevant and progressive at the same time.
In 2020, hip-hop’s styling gap is seemingly wider and deeper than ever before: You’re either all vibes and slurred rhymes or lyrical traditionalist. The Wisconsin duo sit in a completely different lane – able to bring vibes and lyrical competency to the same table, maintaining a strong modern edge. Musically and lyrically, they can hold their own next to anybody, without ever ranting or raving like mad dogs.
There’s something for everyone here – ThatBoyBK production is diverse and tuneful while Chico Steez pushes the bounds of his imagination with impressive wordplay: “Every dollar in my bag gotta have a good face. I’m the rabbit, you’re the turtle, I forget who wins this race.”
Steez is both clever and beautiful in his capacity to construct lyrics that deconstruct your mind, while crafting intricate rhyme patterns. At the same time, ThatBoyBK showcases how easily he can grab listener’s attention with his beats – here he executes a repetitive piano motif that eventually captivates your attention, forcing you to follow the storyline.
ThatBoyBK and Chico Steez prove that hip hop is not just a vehicle for angst-driven, emo-fueled crackheads, and that rapping at a high level is a skill that should still be desired. For a genre so enamored with individualism, it is ironic that some of the best hip-hop releases recently were collaborations. “Outer Space” by producer ThatBoyBK and rapper Chico Steez, is no exception to the rule!