When listening to Chad B’s music, one would be hard pressed to actually describe what his actual sound or style is if you weren’t naturally familiar with him. If you’ve been following him since the “Hit It” days then you would you would probably think that his artistry was simply based on “club hits” and that there was no actual depth to his overall message. In the six years since then, Chad B has managed to create a brand for himself that has allowed him to remain relevant and not placed in a box. The music itself is but one avenue that you can choose to go down and while you’re there, I’m sure you’ll stop at the various stores with different merchandise.
With his most recent offering “Never Stepped On”, Chad B peels back a layer or two and lets the listener in on his life. The title track alone paints a picture so vivid, that it almost feels criminal to listen. To be that transparent on the opener immediately let me know that as an artist he is willing to bare his soul and be as unrepentant with his vision as possible.
“Make It” continues the energy of the opener and brings you closer into his world and offers a direct perspective of a man who has seen it all and been through that much more. After one listen, I knew that Chad B as an artist has something to prove and wouldn’t stop at nothing to make you feel and understand. It’s truly a rare quality that not every artist possesses. You can hear the urgency and hunger in his voice with each bar, and it’s that relentlessness that makes you want to root for him on each track.
As I continued to listen I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted with some of the features on his project. Personal favorites like Moneybagg Yo and 03 Greedo show up on “Money Bag” and “Mafia” respectively and add a certain flare to both songs. Both artists came with verses that were true to them and allowed Chad to do what he does best and that’s gliding effortlessly on the track. Even without those particular, both songs would have easily still been in rotation. It’s pretty evident that with the other features on this album, Chad B is more than comfortable in any situation that requires the collaborative effort, another rare quality.
I’ll be honest, even though this is not Chad’s first offering in terms of music, listening to the project numerous times, it definitely gave me the feeling of a debut album. The tales of pain, struggle, and triumph are the ingredients found throughout this project. He was able to craft a sound that was true to him as an artist and was certainly palatable to the listener. This is not rap by the numbers music. It’s music that is direct, poignant, and offers a true glimpse of what Chad B has to offer. Do yourself a favor and check out “Never Stepped On” and hear what a true underdog story sounds like.