Jul 13, 2015

Editorial: #InCaseYouMissedItMonday - #CMPLX by @ChelseaReject

Niles implemented a great new segment for the site, In Case You Missed It Monday. With a year like the one we've had it's been tough to keep up with the music and quality like Chelsea Reject's CMPLX could fall through the cracks. That's where we pick up the slack. Without any further adieu let's get to it.

Chelsea Reject at Black Bear Bar BK
CMPLX is a lot different that her previous project Radi-8. Different in a good way. When the WTM crew went to see her in Williamsburg a few months back we got to hear a few of the tracks before they released. I'm a firm believer in the saying "Timing is key." Chelsea Reject has the keyring. In a first project you want to show off your own skills as an emcee. In the second, you have more leeway as far as creative freedom and features. CMPLX sees appearances from Pro Era affiliates like Kirk Knight, Nyck Caution, Dyemond Lewis, and CJ Fly. Atownomas and the artist formerly known as T'Nah Apex (now Kris) are frequent collaborators and the trend continues for this project.

The project starts with Bam Bam. Although it's a minute long its a short but sweet goodie that samples the old Sister Nancy track of the same name. Need This was a track she performed at her show. It's nice to see this one made the final cut. 47 features Kirk Knight and Kris. The overall theme refers back to the forth and seventh chakras (the heart and mind for those of you who haven't read into it). 47 is the alignment of the heart and mind and their struggle to do different things. Chelsea and Kirk both spit about their own struggle to rise above it all. Kris lays the word on the hook as well. She keeps the mood kinda dark with the next track Closer. I briefly broke it down when the video released here. Everything's Change is another single we heard before the project dropped. Life as an emcee in the limelight changes you or the people around you. Either way, the Brooklynite spelled it out for us. I recently found out there was a video for that song.

Chelsea Reject (center), Kris (Left), & CJ Fly (right) performing Go

 The next track, Go is the oldest and probably the best track on the album. Go sees assists from Kris and one of the forefathers of the Era in CJ Fly. Opinionated but Fly's verse is arguably the best on the entire project. A few months back Niles covered the video here (random sidebar: trumpet man in the video, I swear I see him at every show I go to in the city). Hipster Wine is next up. This might be the only miss on the album. The production was decent, but together with lyrics it seemed all over the place and rushed. I do like that Chelsea does have a underrated singing voice and does well singing her own hooks. I'm not saying the song is a skip but if it were not on the project I'd have the same feeling towards it. Simple is a nice change of pace. It kind of serves like a interlude because of it's length. I really like the sample in this Kxngs production. Chelsea shows some heart and telling her significant that she doesn't need a lot, just simplicity. Make You A Fan shows a more confident side. Nyck Caution joins Chelsea with one objective: "Make you dance to the music." Planet Namek features Kris again. I don't know why I enjoy this song so much but it's just my favorite. Although she kept it a buck on this, I enjoyed the trip back to my childhood thinking about Dragonball Z and more specifically the Frieza Saga references. Speaking of trips that's the theme of the track. Reject is trying to go somewhere far away from her parental issues among other topics Kris does a great job on the hook as the songs momentum increases.

The mood changes again with So High. Atownomas features on this pregame jam. I swear this track sounds so good through car speakers. With that being said I expect the radio station DJs to take advantage of this for the summer. Viiibes features Dyemond Lewis. This is a perfect follow up for So High as the topic of discussion is the same. We can expect the same vibe for Spacey (see what I did there). Spacey features Jean Deaux singing the hook. The production sounds almost futuristic but smooth. Tree follows up with a Reject sermon on hypocrites who continue to throw rocks at glass houses. Far Away is the next song. Once again Chelsea does a great job vocally singing as well as her flow rapping. She closes out the project with Burning Bridges.

All in all CMPLX was dope. We see a deeper side of Chelsea that we didn't get in her first compilation. Although it started slow it definitely finished strong. I have a love hate with the features. They were great for her and they also didn't completely upstage her. At the same time it sounds like it's Chelsea Reject and Kris (formerly T'Nah) project like they are a duo. That's not entirely a bad thing. They compliment each other so well in studio and live that they'd be foolish not to work together. The tape is as the title states, complex. Chelsea Reject shows examples of a lot of self evaluation as a person on the tape, a lesson I think we all could learn from. CMPLX recieves 4.2 of 5 stars on the Ramsey Rating Scale. You can stream it, in its entirety below via soundcloud or Spotify.
Chelsea Reject with Editor Jonathan Ramsey


**All photos taken by Jonathan Ramsey
Jonathan C. Ramsey
Jonathan C. Ramsey

Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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