Denmark Vessey and Gensu Dean
This is not the first project of Vessey's that's an instant classic, but if you haven't heard of Denmark Vessey before and this is your intro, enjoy! Whole Food is a dope collaboration project between Vessey on the mic and Gensu Dean on production.
Denmark Vessey and his long time collaborator Quelle Chris have become the creative vanguard of hip hop through their joint venture, Crown Nation. They've put together an impressive list of projects you should definitely check out. On this project, Vessey doesn't focus on his battle with religion as much as other projects, but Denmark Vessey is one of the more creative artists balanced with a raw talent and a strong dose of not giving a shit (which I really appreciate).
Apparently Vessey is from Chicago, but I appreciate that he isn't self-categorized. I hear influences from hip hop styles from all over the country and his lyrics aren't dominated by nostalgia for his city. His lyrics are smart, clever, deep, funny, creative and both light hearted and deep. He effortlessly makes jokes like, "I have existential questions. Where the hoes at?" that probably fly over the average hip hop listener. Gensu Dean mixes up the production with a range of boombap and newer sounds mixed with head nodding soul samples that assemble a dope track for Vessey to flex his lyrical abilities. There's only one track with featured mcs so you get a strong sense of what Denmark Vessey is about as an artist. There are deep ties to Mello Music Group, which has their hands in so many projects that I find my way to one way or another.
Check it out!