Chicago rapper Ric Wilson and Los Angeles producer Terrace Martin invigorate disco, soul, and funk on a new collaborative EP | Music Review | Chicago Reader

Chicago rapper Ric Wilson and Los Angeles producer Terrace Martin invigorate disco, soul, and funk on a new collaborative EP 

click to enlarge Ric Wilson

Ric Wilson

Betawave

Chicago rapper and prison abolitionist Ric Wilson knows the joy of combing through history for jewels of knowledge that enrich his connection to his hometown’s multifaceted Black communities. He also understands how to incorporate sounds from the past into contemporary music. Last year he found a kindred spirit in Terrace Martin, a Los Angeles jazz sideman and hip-hop producer who’s worked with some of the most important west-coast rappers of all time, including Snoop Dogg, DJ Quik, and Kendrick Lamar. Martin brings a glimmer of California sunshine and a light touch of funk to the duo’s new collaborative record, They Call Me Disco (Free Disco/Sounds of Crenshaw/Empire). Wilson’s voluble verses saunter over minimal funk guitars, mellow soul synths, and hip-shaking percussion, which Martin tastefully combines in layers like a landscape painter zeroing in on the perfect color for a sunset. The EP is as much a testament to Wilson’s love for disco, soul, and funk as it is an argument that these great art forms can still be crucial conduits for messages about contemporary Black life.   v

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