21 December 2013 (released)
05 January 2014
Chuckie Campbell is so much more than just your run-of-the-mill hip hop artist, spewing unnecessarily violent or gratuitous material before pocketing a pay cheque – in fact, the multitalented rapper, poet and musician actually runs his own arts journal away from the beats and breaks. With this in mind, you can be sure to expect a more cerebral experience from his album ‘More Die of Heartbreak’ which has sentimental and ethical significance set to some experimental instrumentals.
With a font of knowledge on his side, Campbell’s album is a lyrical festival of deep thoughts and views delivered with a quasi-aggressive, machine gun flow and sincerity that exudes the pain and anguish no doubt felt from the experiences that influenced the project. His wordplay, puns and punchlines leave indelible images in your mind as long as you can keep up with his quick-fire distribution. This is hip-hop consciousness and storytelling at a level that aficionados of the genre have come to expect from the likes of The Roots, Nas, Yelawolf and Talib Kweli. Campbell is a vastly well-read artist who almost boastfully regurgitates his insight and diversity, from naming the album after a novel written by a Nobel prize winning author to collaborating with an eclectic assortment of artists including Wu Tang Clan’s Cappadonna, Cole Jonique and Erin Breeding, one half of the classic country band, The Breedings.
Evidently, Erin Breeding’s brother and the other half of the band, Willie Breeding, is the producer of this album but, unexpectedly, the style of electronic synthesis used throughout has absolutely no link to his usual “bread and butter” country musical styling. The experimental nature of the album takes it away from typical American East Coast sampling into a world of enigmatic soundscapes that utilise VST instrumentation, lending the whole thing an original and contemporary personality that adds to the articulacy of the material.
The caveat is that title of ‘More Die of Heartbreak’, though lifted from a book, has genuine relevance to Campbell who dedicated the album to a friend who committed suicide. Because of this, the album is entirely poignant and seems commemorative throughout. Not something to dance to, but hopefully you will empathise and relate.