See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Posted By on Wed, Feb 23, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Damn if some music doesn’t require a multiple listens before the head-nodding kicks in. On this, the Detroit rapper’s debut, the dark packaging and skinny white-boy cover pose might turn away the judgmental, and that’s too bad ’cause Chief and his post-emo-hop, true-to-life rhymes can pluck heartstrings on almost every verse. Chief’s delivery is fluid and reminiscent of that one lunchroom kid with mad shit to get off of his chest, and that’s what makes him dope. “Slippin’ Away” chronicles the lives of a young, single mom strung out on heroin and an ex-friend/fiend driven insane after too many crack pipe hits. Typical rap subject matter, certainly, but, in Chief’s hands, it’s all empathy; the song might be the album’s best punch. Others, such as “Hold Me Down” and “One Day,” put an original spin on the life of an aspiring rapper — they sidestep trite imagery with less glamour and more grind. Without preaching, Chief drops 18 surly tracks of life as he sees it; and much of the album canvasses gritty urban realities of Gen-Yers. There’s plenty of party moments too, some funny skits, plus a jealous ex-girlfriend strung out for dick. From top to bottom, this collection might just describe your life, one track at a time.


At the 2005 Blowout on Friday, March 4, at Jean’s (12002 Jos. Campau, Hamtramck).

Jonathan Cunningham writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

More by Jonathan Cunningham

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit