MC TREE G
-Music Review by Jacob Kresovich–
Tremaine Johnson, also known as MC Tree G, is a rapper and producer from Chicago, IL. Originally from the storied, Cabrini-Green housing projects on the north side, music became a part of Tree’s life early on. Not until Tree’s early adulthood, however, did he begin rapping and developing his unique sound: “Soul trap,” a combination of soul and Chicago’s brand of hip-hop, trap music. Tree released The @MCTREEG EP earlier this year.
The EP opens with ‘Probably Nu it,’ sporting a minimalist beat that leaves space for Tree to take control with his vocals. The production includes a slow, reverberating drum line, granting the track an influx of soul. Complimenting this bass is a high-pitched, high-energy high-hat that gives a nod to Chicago’s trap music scene. Tree’s distinguished voice and raspy tones add feeling to the song. He rhymes about situations when the outcome was clear, and yet; you’re left thinking; “Probably knew it…”
The second track on The @MCTREEG EP is the highlight of the short collection. ‘Like Whoa’ includes more complex production elements, but Tree’s rhymes remain the focus of the song. Tree notes in the prologue, “Now this is a summer track.” He’s right, the song begs blasting during Chicago’s beautiful warm season. The track focuses on the positive milestones being met by people around him. “When they see you shine (like whoa)/ everybody be like whoa (like whoa),” The chorus rings as Tree raps about neighborhood kids going to college, working hard at their jobs and taking care of their own.
The @MCTREEG EP is an important work of art coming out of Chicago. Although the production starts out simple, each sequential song shows growth. The final song on the EP, ‘Godlike’ exhibits Tree’s Sinatra-esque piano skills and can rival the best production in mainstream hip-hop. Tree’s rapping style remains unique with his hoarse rhymes adding emotion and depth to his tracks. Most importantly, Tree doesn’t fall into premade genres; he creates his own. Soul trap is distinctive, memorable and captivating—defining Tree, but more significantly, capturing the creativity of Chicagoans.
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