When done the right way, musical fusions and genre-bending make for much more interesting, fresh tunes. Case in point, West Loop rapper Solo Sam and his standout track “Happily Alone.” With rhymes that glide along a simple guitar riff elevated only by Sam’s Busta Rhymes-esque control of his delivery, “Happily Alone” is both blues and hip-hop; a powerful, if not accidental, tip-of-the-hat to Chicago’s musical past for today’s youth while making room for something brand new in scope of things.
“Happily Alone” builds slowly, as coming to the conclusion of actually being happily alone often does. Sam raps, “This is how intelligence sound when you add some pimpin’ on it” as he details his creative process, journey until this point, and keen observations on the boys vs. men mentality in and outside of hip-hop. Punctuated by a high-hat and a huff, the sonic minimalism places all of your attention on Sam’s hungry growl for more, but always on his own terms.
Chicago rappers are initiating a deeper conversation, one that takes mental health, spiritual wellness, one’s own worth, and placing energy in positive places rather than getting wrapped up in what’s expected. As he continues to develop his sound, produce himself, and write in ways that capture the mood with a sharpened intensity, Solo Sam is definitely an artist to have on your radar.