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“Paper Cha$e” from Ray Lugar and The Collective Force

Hip-hop has blossomed in so many ways that many critics and industry insiders never would have expected it to in the past two decades, and if you want some evidence supporting this statement, I would point you towards tracks like “Paper Cha$e” from Ray Lugar and The Collective Force, whose hybrid rap-fusion-metal-noise caught my attention this October and hasn’t let it go for anything. “Paper Cha$e” isn’t a takeoff from the alternative smash that was IGOR so much as it feels like an amalgamation of indie concepts that wouldn’t have worked outside of a hip-hop context, and with Lugar at the helm, listeners can expect to be wowed by the sonic fireworks.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecollectiveforce/

There’s so much tenacity in the vocal attack our main man is putting up in this track, but it’s given an extra kick from the massive riffing in the background deserving of just as much credit as anything else. When you put an aggressive rapper in front of a metallic melody in the first place, you’re going to get a very violent, versatile result at any rate, but through the careful precision of Lugar’s delivery here, we get something that is downright ominous and threatening in a few spots, making each moment feel even more exciting than the last.

This mix has some of the best instrumental spacing I’ve heard in an independent studio cut this fall, and with nothing even slightly muddled when we isolate the vocal away from the other elements here, it’s easy for us to appreciate the complexities of the composition without getting too hung up on any of the flashier components of the climax. Meticulousness can alter the course of the universe in hip-hop – and especially the alternative strain – and in “Paper Cha$e,” that’s proven through the construction of the single and the imagery in its music video.

I just started getting into Ray Lugar and The Collective Force with the release of this song, and I’m already very eager to hear what they’re going to do on an LP together. I think it would be prudent to get back into the studio before the year is over, if for no other reason than to capitalize on the chemistry they’ve got going for them at this particular moment in their career. “Paper Cha$e” has an urgency I definitely want more of, and I can’t really picture myself being the only one to feel as much.

John McCall

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