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Album review: Chuck Inglish, 'Convertibles'

April 07, 2014|By Ernest Wilkins, @ernestwilkins | RedEye

**1/2 (out of 4)

While Chuck Inglish has gained fame as half of Chicago hip-hop duo The Cool Kids, the Detroit-native rapper (born Evan Ingersoll) hasn’t been properly recognized for his ability to create quality tracks. I worry that he may not achieve the rap superstardom he deserves as a beat maker (he’s crafted tracks for Rick Ross, Kid Cudi, Mac Miller and more) and will join the list of consistently awesome, under-recognized producers that includes Daz Dillinger (Snoop Dogg, Tupac) and NO I.D. (Jay-Z, Common). Yes, Inglish is that good.

“Convertibles,” Inglish’s solo debut, is something else entirely. Well,not entirely: It’s still a showcase of production acumen. The beats on this thing are gorgeous--the equivalent of a classic car like the ’65 Lincoln Continental. Bump this album in a clean vehicle with good speakers.

Like a vintage auto, though, the album has some dents and dings. Most significantly, Inglish isn’t a great rapper. His lines frequently inspire eye-rolls and groans, trending toward the latter on “Dreamy.” That lyrical deficiency leads to his guest stars (including Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa and Inglish’s other Cool Kid, Sir Michael Rocks) outshining him without much effort. When Action Bronson glides all over “Game Time” or Mac Miller and Ab-Soul trade barbs on ”Came Thru/Easily,” the results are great. Unfortunately, not all the partnerships fit perfectly, with Chromeo’s appearance clashing with Inglish on the irritating “Legs.”

So “Convertibles” is almost there but could use a bit more polish. You know, like a car. Too easy? I give up.

Listen to "Came Thru/Easily" below.

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