It begins with that unmistakable soothing hiss of a record player's needle dropping onto vinyl and a loop that sounds straight out of a '70s R&B album. Motor City transplantMr. Chief
's previously unreleased track "Ironic" certainly has an old-school flavor one can nestle up to.
The introspective themes covered by the pensive rapper here are anything but tranquil. "Just trying to make it through this week," laments Mr. Chief (he has just recently added the honorific Mr. to make his generic handle a bit more Google-able) within the first couple of verses of this reflective track. The MC's lyrics candidly demonstrate frustrations felt over not quite making it in the music business that he loves. "Ironic" serves as pure catharsis for Chief as he holds nothing back about his disappointment with the hip-hop world that hasn't accepted him ("not fitting into marketing schemes") and the less-talented rappers who have leapfrogged him ("but talent, that's irrelevant").
He grapples with an all-too-familiar subject for struggling musicians -- or any
artist, for that matter: dealing with a career that, despite all one's
efforts, doesn't seem to take off. In the end, Mr. Chief perseveres,
finding his way back into the studio to lay down more rhymes, doing so
more for the love of the art rather than for the money.
What's perhaps most ironic about "Ironic" is: Of all the capable rappers on local label Footwork4self's catalog,
Mr. Chief seems to be the one with the most breakout potential. The
capable wordsmith has no problem filling 500-plus-person venues at
Detroit hometown shows, and he will headline FW4S's upcoming showcase in Sin City
on Tuesday. Mr. Chief says, though, that "Ironic" -- posted on his
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MySpace page since late 2008 but never available directly for fans --
represents the last chapter of his previous body of work. A currently
untitled record with FW4S is only a month or so away from being
completed. Listen to "Ironic" here.