Psalm One and Angel Davanport of Rapper Chicks introduce Big Silky, their sharpest collaboration yet | Music Review | Chicago Reader

Psalm One and Angel Davanport of Rapper Chicks introduce Big Silky, their sharpest collaboration yet 

click to enlarge The cover of Big Silky's Big Silky Vol. 1

The cover of Big Silky's Big Silky Vol. 1

Courtesy the Artist

Born from the ashes of Rapper Chicks, one of the city’s best and most slept-on rap groups of the past decade, Big Silky reintroduces two members of that crew, Psalm One and Angel Davanport. On their debut EP, Big Silky Vol. 1, written in tribute of former bandmate Henny B (she passed away in 2018, and she’s honored in the liner notes as “executive producer”), the duo deliver music that would’ve made their comrade proud: bold, vicious rhymes and a succession of slick, rat-a-tat rhythms that allude to classic hip-hop composition, courtesy of beat makers Optiks, Budah Tye, Benzilla, OnGaud, and Bionik. Psalm and Davanport are both accomplished solo artists, and they don’t hesitate to remind you of their lyrical and vocal dexterity—their cocksure cadences make them sound like rascally descendants of east-coast heavyweights Big Pun and Lil’ Kim. Big Silky is the sharpest presentation yet of their forces combined, and their cunning assessments of rap’s boys club, clout chasers, and players serve as reminders to always give praise where and when it’s due. After years of sharing the stage with each other in one project or another, they’ve been able to capture their live energy and chemistry in the studio on Big Silky Vol. 1. They revisit themes from their collaborative tracks on Psalm’s album Flight of the Wig and EP Don’t Get Lazy Now! (both from 2019), including taking direct aim at the way society’s adherence to traditional gender and sexual binaries elevates some artists over others. “They don’t show you where the pain start / Y’all gon’ be straight with this gay art,” Psalm declares on “Put Your Cape On.” On “Smokin’ in Therapy,” their perseverance shines like aspirational quotes on vision boards: “Real bitches never break,” Davanport raps. “We knuckle up and elevate, hoe.” Though the EP’s closing track, “Rprchx Iz Ded,” is a summation and farewell to one chapter of Psalm and Davanport’s musical journey together, with Big Silky they make it perfectly clear that they’re not going anywhere.   v

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