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Chynna - in case i die first Music Album Reviews

The short EP from the Philly rapper might not be essential but it reveals more of the fascinating dark side of her artistry. 

Chynna is honing her craft, balancing her braggadocio and combative jabs on equally violent and hollow sounds. On her fourth EP, in case i die first, the 25-year-old Philly rapper is letting the world in on a late-night car-ride therapy session, full of convoluted, introspective thoughts where Chynna is both the shrink and patient. Each song juggles self-doubt caused by the ex-lovers and friends that fuel her distress and the reassurance that emerge once she finally decides to kill her bad behaviors before they kill her. Having openly battled depression and opioid addiction, Chynna’s latest project centers defining moments of sanity and rejecting everyone’s projections to aid her swaggering rebirth.


Chynna is not just a model cosplaying as a rapper, but a Philly native birthed by same the grit and grime as Ruff Ryders’ Eve and Murder Inc.’s Charli Baltimore, who use their aggressive rhymes to cement their validity in the male-dominated realm of rap. Like Eve and Charli, Chynna’s jarring rhymes are not confounded by her femininity or androgynous tone, but rather the Ford Models signee doesn’t hesitate to let you know she is an attractive woman that is aware of, but not reliant on, the power of her pussy. Women rappers turn their sexuality into a measure of power, but similar to Rico Nasty’s gut-wrenching lyrics, Chynna also dismisses the notion that her beauty supersedes her talent. On “gin,” Chynna masterfully connects “mustang” and “nuts hang,” challenging male counterparts and ensuring those words will be used in phonics exercises for years to come.

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In working towards demolishing her self-doubt, Chynna questions the authenticity of her platonic friendships as she recognizes how easy it is to fall back into depression. “Kamikaze soldier/[who] suffers from dark kinks” she raps on “gin,” displaying her proximity to toxic friends and environments. Her smooth delivery sits evenly amid heavy bass production that almost turns her voice into a percussion instrument.

Introspection is the main theme here; it feels like you’re inside her head trying to follow along with her train of thought. Her flow is similarly herky-jerky: The melody of “asmr” almost imitates it. Although Chynna is transparent in her self-analysis—relatable to any woman contemplating dismissing a boy-toy versus keeping him around for convenience—it’s still hard to connect to this brief project. The illusory raps, the ghostly production, the seeming randomness of its moments, all create a mood that’s unique but difficult to translate. And despite the slight deviations in tempo, all four songs on in case i die first run the risk of sounding like one long song. But we see more of who Chynna is as an artist, warts and all, which is never a bad thing.


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About Udara Madusanka

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