With all the talk of the violence in Chicago and ‘Chiraq’ this and that being hawked by out-of-towners on the daily, mucking up the Second City’s image for personal gain, it can be easy to forget that there is still plenty of positivity in the city’s streets. Chicago’s first lady of hip-hop, Psalm One is out to challenge that dubious status quo with her latest project, Hug Life. A play on Tupac’s seminal phrase all the way down to the “Hug Life” torso tat on the album artwork, the title is a juxtaposition of nuanced meaning that perfectly accents the message Psalm puts forth on her latest, perhaps most complete project to date.
Released via iTunes under Psalm’s alter-ego Hologram Kizzie, the project is an examination of love, lust and the things that come from both. In a story for the Chicago Sun Times, Psalm characterized her different monikers and the roles they occupy as such: “Kizzie is a little — a lot — less inhibited than Psalm One,” the rapper detailed, pointing out that while her biblically derived handle is well suited to her all-ages content and humanitarian endeavors, being Hologram Kizzie “gives me a lot more freedom.” The project includes a who’s who of Midwest up and comers and bedrocks alike, including the likes of ProbCause, Tanya Morgan, The Hood Internet, Young Josh of Flosstradamus and Lazerbeak and PO$ from DoomTree, among others. Hanging out at a West Town loft last weekend listening to the project, we listened through several times without noticing it had started from the top again, a true testament to a full-fleshed out project that hits the proper chords from start to finish. Check out Hug Life streaming below and pick up the full project over at iTunes!