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Black Period EP

Chuckz is one of the youngest MCs on Room2 Records, the Manchester label that continues to outdo itself, regularly showcasing a plethora of amazing rappers and producers. At 20 years old, he is already something of a veteran, regularly hosting club nights with his label mates and guesting on other tracks.

Last year’s debut, The Demo, had 19 tracks with as many collaborators, but the Black Period EP has just one set of producers (Duo Duo) at the controls, giving the music a more coherent feel. Chuckz also sounds more relaxed and less anxious to make an impression, which consequently creates a greater impact on this release.

The music is sublime. Jazz inflected samples (‘Swimming Pools’) and liquid dub basslines (‘Palomino’) augment Chuckz’ voice, a Manchester twang that is melodic and soulful when the choruses kick in. His lyrics have an Afro-centric focus that is rarely heard in British hip hop, a mixture of spirituality and defiance captured on ‘Intuition’: “And you can’t say that you’re fooling me / I saw through the lies through the eyes of / The young black African.”

At the start of the EP, ‘Avec Moi’ and ‘ByWard’ pose questions many young people face about their path in life and the influence of others on their decisions. By the end, Chuckz answers these questions on the chorus of ‘Watermelon’: “I think I should live”. The progression between his two recordings is impressive and the decisive end to this EP bodes well for Chuckz’ future output.