It's been 4 years since Choosey premiered his debut tape via Dirty Science. The album, titled Left Field, was met with the sort of hushed excitement that accompanies most well-executed lyrical, soul-based boom bap hip-hop tapes. Since then, we've not heard much from the LA-based rapper and producer—a remix here, a featuring verse there, but nothing solid. Black Beans shows that despite his silence, Choosey has been working.
As a rapper who also produces, Choosey didn't trust this tape with just any producer, he collaborated with the soul-chopping legend Exile to produce the soundscapes across the duality of his subject matter.
The album's duality lies in Choosey's cultural upbringing—a house he shared with his Mexican father and black mother and manifests itself in the production as well as the lyrics. This ambivalence inspires a story that does more than just paint a picture of his upbringing. The stories allow Choosey a means of tackling a larger commentary on stereotypes and ignorance. The line, "I'm a mix of enchiladas and friend chicken" is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to building a larger narrative.
The album's production takes the lyrics one step further by blending the sounds of LA, soul, and Chicano into one well-packaged project—a seemingly impossible task to most. The album welcomes us with the familiar strings of Darondo's "Didn't I" before merging the hot summer sounds of LA with the spicy brass of Chicano. The album is lined with familiar samples from across these genres to produce an "at home" feeling that invites the listener further into the project.
This cross-culture marriage of sounds and subject matter pleads for acceptance and understanding without coming off as a lecture in the subject. It's refreshing, it's well-executed, and it should be quietly celebrated as another sample-based album that excelled in nearly every way.
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