Straight outta Richmond, Kentucky, Chuckie Campbell is a thoughtful and smart rapper who brought in Brooklyn’s own Talib Kweli to deliver a message about equality and brotherhood in the new album Synethesia. While the tracks scale in various levels of quality, it’s clear Campbell has a lot on his mind during this shakey time in the United States.
The album begins with “All Things End,” which as has a good driving beat and guitar work. It also has a snappy hook that will keep listeners invested. The rapper gots some bars here! It’s followed up with “Pretty Girls,” which also has a great flow that speaks to the cycle of violence towards women and the view of biracial females in communities where they don’t fit in. It’s a social good song that holds true to the #MeToo movement. It’s a heady and deep one.
The song “Smoke” has a silky hook with powerful, yet playful narrative with wordplay and cleverness, while “Meant For More” has a modern feel with quick rhyme schemes with a smart ending with driving horns and spoken word poetry.
“Power” hits the listener like a dump truck. It’s a song with purpose and precision that keeps building with more and more elements and rhyme with clever and thoughtful lyrics, while “Love Leaves a Witness” slows down the pace of Synethesia with a soulful sound that matches well with the rapper’s quick bars and flow.
The album’s title song seems to stop the rest of the album in its tracks. I’m sorry, but it sounds like “Miracles” from Insane Clown Posse, or “Incredible Thoughts,” the parody song from Lonely Island. It’s an earnest attempt that just comes off cheesy and cornball.
“Language of the Unheard” brings the album back with a wonderful and thoughtful song about the Black Lives Matter movement that focuses on the problem of police brutality against unarmed black men and the hypocrisy of the media and politician, while “Dream is But a Dream” has a playful bounce and quick flows that adds a lot to the smoothness of the song. It’s one of the best of the album.
The track “It Doesn’t Matter” combines pop and hip-hop in a unique way in a part party song with something that feels “woke,” while the album ends with the song “The Morning After,” which is a strong way finish it off with a clean production and a smart message of unity and equality.