ALBUM REVIEW: Joey Purp Tries to Squeeze Everything into One on ‘QUARTERTHING’

“Started with a 28 / 28 turned to a 56 / 56 turned to a QUARTERTHING.”

As gritty Chicago street themes run deep on Joey Purp’s sophomore release, the Chicago rap scene has never been more stacked with talent. Purple has remained the city’s best kept secret since the release of his 2016 mixtape iiiDrops. As showcased in the first go-round, Purp traverses between cheap thrill party rap and more serious street passages (both ugly and uplifting).

QUARTERTHING navigates a myriad of beats that touch every corner of Chicago’s watermarked hip-hop sounds, including the city’s trademarked house and soul influences, and homegrown subgenres like drill and juke.

Purp bounces a large handful of ideas off the wall in this 14-track, 36-minute effort, which works both as a strength and an ailment. A two-minute median run time for each song means thinly-spliced ideas, which leaves some of QUARTERTHING’s material (‘Look at My Wrist,” “Fessional/Diamonds Dancing”) feeling incomplete.

The album is not without its epic moments, however; “24k Gold/Sanctified,” “Paint Thinner,” “2012,” and separate features from RZA and GZA have QUARTERTHING well into my good graces.

Score: 🥦🥦🥦/5