Youth, like genius, often gives its best at first.
Chillman is a 21 year old whose name essentially speaks for itself, as well as attract a like-minded audience to match. Having only emerged in the last 12 months, after joining In The Balance Records, Chillman’s rhymes have received thousands of Youtube views and plenty of plays on mellow days. Breakthrough singles such as ‘Defeat Stress’, ‘Say’ & ‘You Are’ feature on his upcoming debut album: Abstract Patterns. The production throughout the 14 track project is entirely handled by Verb T, a High Focus veteran and founder of In The Balance Records. Although Verb T is more renowned for rapping than producing, his portfolio of productions on more than 10 of his own projects, on top of collaborations with the likes of Dotz & Moreone, demonstrate his expertise in the instrumental field.
Although Abstract Patterns will be widely received as a Chillman debut, make no mistake that the album is thoroughly Verb T as well. It is his voice which the listeners hear first on the introductory track ‘Patterns’, laced with melodic ambient noises that set the tone for the following song ‘Say’. Chillman rhymes with a laid back flow, giving the listener an insight into his passion for hip-hop as Verb T constantly manipulates a bassy background rhythm to effectively emphasize the wordplay.
There’s two types of stresses – good motivational stress and the bad anxious type. Chillman & Verb T help to tackle the latter with the ‘Defeat Stress’ single, full of uplifting vibes that genuinely helps for unwinding into sweet relaxation. At the end of ‘Space and Time’, Verb T drops a chant which I can already hear fans reciting at the live shows, “I don’t wanna be like everybody else” – also a good summary of the track itself.
Set to release his second solo LP sometime soon, it’s great to hear fresh bars from Leaf Dog to remind people he’s still alive and kicking, as he makes the first guest feature on ‘Get Live’ – a party popper from start to finish.
Fun and games are had as the album progresses. Track seven, ‘Royale With Cheese’ see’s the listener trapped in Chillmans munchies episode, before he goes on to joke about queef deliveries and prank phone calls on ‘Funky Drifting’. Perhaps some will find them silly, but sometimes immature jokes can also be the most hilarious.
Moreone and Verb T step up with something more mature on ‘Step Into The Unknown’, before Verb T takes point on ‘You Are You’ with a breathless flow over a pacy beat, telling the listener to just be them, not no-one else. On the following track ‘Lonely Trails’, Chillman goes solo as he reflects upon close-to-heart topics, such as his upbringing in East Africa and being expelled from school, as well as contemplate the experiences encountered and the lessons learned over life’s course.
Every hip-hop album needs a good cypher. Chillman complies with a laid back collaboration called ‘Funk Dialect’ featuring Coosie, Joe Publik, Goose, Kenzie & Entra P over a smooth, jazzy instrumental. Abstract Patterns climaxes with the ‘Technicolor Talk’ finale, a chance for Chillman to shout out everybody who has supported him.
Altogether, Abstract Patterns is the ideal record for relaxation. The calm, captivating instrumentals combined with Chillman’s youth and Verb T’s veteran expertise provides something relatable for everybody. One of the most exciting aspects of Abstract Patterns is the knowledge that the 14 tracks are only a glimpse of Chillman’s future potential. If you were unaware of Chillman before reading this review, it’s time you found out what the hype is about. Abstract Patterns is an undisputable triumph for In The Balance Records, we can’t wait for to come.
Review by @ethaneverton