New Rapper Of The Week #1: $ulaiman

In the first of our new weekly features, we take a trip to Chicago for a less-heralded pal of Vic and Chance...
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I can barely even fathom what it was like back before the internet and before blogs and Hype Machine and SoundCloud brought millions of musical options to your fingertips and to your ears. Trouble is the fact that now there's SO much that it can be a bit hard to sift through (I'm presuming that at least some of you have jobs that don't require sitting online all day long) so that's where this comes in. Every week a new rapper that you (probably) haven't heard of.

This week it's Chicagoan rapper Sulaiman - or $ulaiman if we're into that whole 'indulging affectation' thing. There'll be a few of you, no doubt, who'll probably recognise him from some fleeting mixtape appearances on Sabotage Times favourites Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa's efforts or MadGibbs' recent Piñata. The rapper from the much-heralded Treated Crew has had a few other minor efforts picked up on the internet - and a promised-but-never-delivered EP in Righteous & Ratchet with crew-mate Thelo back in early 2013 - but last month saw the emcee release the EP Hook, Line & Thinker. And it was fucking brilliant.

In-keeping with the bass-heavy sonics and throwback jazz samples that've inflected his peers' output with the added bonus of a knuckle-gnawingly good/bad pun title, Suli's relaxed voice barely raises above "really fucking chilled" even when he switches up his flow to match ace north-side Chicago producer DocDaMindbenda - reminiscent here of vintage 9th Wonder - and his choice selection of beats. Mid-point "Better Than Money" sees both musicians on fine form - a summer banger with Suli cementing his place in 1996 with a super-smooth tale of barbecues, fucking and smoking that would make Devin the Dude proud.

Keep an eye out.

Follow Sam on Twitter, @SamDiss


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