Talib Kweli once said “The beautiful thing about hip-hop is that it’s like an audio collage. You can take any form of music and do it in a hip-hop way and it’ll be a hip-hop song.” Cincinnati’s own Patterns of Chaos (PoC) illustrates Kweli’s point excellently with their own brand of acid jazz beats, cello situations, and powerful lyrics that dip into spoken word. Their Freedom EP, which dropped last month, shows that the trio are ready to take this chaotic collage to the world.
Patterns of Chaos is made up of three Cincinnati friends who clearly share a love of jazz and classic hip-hop. The group’s main rapper is Jay Hill, who’s supported by Toph with back up rhymes and, of course, a cello. The classic 90’s lo-fi beats (think De La Soul or A Tribe Called Quest) are created by Stallitix who also serves as the shit talker and hype man for the group. What’s a great hip-hop album with clean beats, creative rhymes and a healthy does of shit talking?
Freedom starts with a dichotomous track of hyped lyrics promising to get radical and some cynical heh’s a la Chance the Rapper over a sunny, jazzy beats that loop a clean guitar track that sounds reversed, which creates a cool subversive element in the track. Off the top, it's clear these guys are having fun making this music and that you’re going to have fun listening.
“Let’s Talk About Freedom” is the halfway track of the EP and clearly serves as the thesis statement for the album and possibly Patterns of Chaos as a group. The track starts out with what sounds like a string section warm up. It’s soft and soothing, but ominous and you can tell it’s going to swell up and crash. The track serves as a spoken word meditation on what freedom means, how we can be wardens of our own freedom, and how self love is an act of freedom. It culminates in a chant of free your body and your mind before dovetailing perfecting into track 7, aptly titled “Free Your Body and Your Mind.”
Freedom by Patterns of Chaos proves the golden era of 90’s conscious rap is still alive and authentic, not lost to the overproduced mainstream chasm that is “fake deep.” This powerful trio manages to create something that echoes back to it’s past yet simultaneously looks forward to it’s future. Patterns of Chaos’ message about the necessity and simplicity of freedom is so absolutely relevant and the album is so well done it’s a must hear for the summer.
For Fans Of: A Tribe Called Quest, Pharcyde, drinking outside in the summer
Our Take: Acid jazz beats, 90’s vibes, well constructed verses