Contributing a presence physically and musically far removed from Los Angeles (and simultaneously nothing like the nearby Bay Area), Sacramento’s Chuuwee represents lyricism in an atmosphere preoccupied with mindless fun and dangerous imagery. Though still a secret to most, his followers have come to revere the outspoken aggression expressed through verses and social media regarding trends and competition he deems beneath him. Carrying forth a goal that many of today’s gatekeepers could cast away as futile, Chuuwee conceptually reignites the torch for the old school with Wild Style.

Considered Chuuwee’s first true album (despite being free of charge), Wild Style is a diverse look into the life of an ambitious emcee aiming to reign supreme over meaningless gimmicks. Neither underground nor designed to cross over, his skill is in a league of its own attempting proper tribute to the ’90s (in a similar vein to recent throwback sensation Joey Bada$$) channeling the chants of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony on “Wake Up” and borrowing extensively from the likes of the Wu-Tang Clan, J. Dilla and Nas on songs “Beastie Boy!” and “The Livest One.”

While his delivery is full of intensity and passion with a wide topical approach, this latest release from Chuwee has unusually glaring deficiencies. For one, he outshines all of his guests (mostly close associates benefitting from his favor), “40 Oz’s & 40 Sac’s” is derivative to the point of boredom, and the melodramatic crime story “One Missed Call” ends the tape on an unoriginal note. These less than stellar moments make it easy to overlook the kid’s adept ability as he switches from venting steam on the upbeat “Pissin Me Off” (produced by the legendary Large Professor) to records targeted at ladies such as “Get It Crackin” and “Coffee Tea Or Me?”

Chuuwee brings a fresh spin to a scene often thought to be stagnant, most evident on Wild Style’s most progressive track “Put It On.” Longtime fans can attest he is a prolific studio rat, but in this instance creative shortages are responsible for filler that outweighs his dedication and enthusiasm. Rooted in realness to a possible fault, Chuuwee’s reminders of generally perceived better days for the culture end up backfiring given they lack much relevance within the present.

DX Consensus: “EP-worthy”

Listen to Wild Style by Chuuwee