Chicago’s Hurt Everybody Brings Grunge To Hip-Hop On ‘2K47’ Mixtape

The Hurt Everybody movement is in full swing.

A year removed from their debut release on July 4, 2014, the trio of Supa BWE, Carl and Mulatto Beats have built a large and dedicated fanbase through their constant releases on SoundCloud. The group’s 4th of July release 2K47 recently demonstrated their feverish work ethic. The sophomore project, more importantly, positioned the group as one of the next up from a crowded Chicago scene.

2K47 arrives as a much sleeker, tightly-wound unveil than last year’s debut. Whereas the Hurt Everybody EP was a collection of favorite tracks recorded and released for short periods of time online, 2K47 comes packaged with an understanding of over-arching themes that pace the project. “F*ck you I’m amazing” is prevalent throughout, both a boastful declaration and a serious assertion.

Existing somewhat outside the SaveMoney’s and Treated Crews that have paced much of the music coming from Chicago lately, Hurt Everybody exists in a sort of cocoon. Self-professed nerds and studio rats, the trio performs and records with a sort of chip on their collective shoulder and addresses the world at large on topics large and small with an angsty scowl.

Twenty years ago that sound struck out from the Pacific Northwest with music that leaned heavily on depth of lyricism and the conveyance of emotion. Similarly, Hurt Everybody has emerged using the tools available to create music that is a cacophony of sounds more emotional than harmonic, that accurately paints a picture of the point they’re trying to make before saying anything at all. Guitar riffs and moans are exchanged for trap drums and Supa’s impossible falsetto, but the essence of the music is there throughout. The result is a project that is, essentially, grunge for a new (rap) generation.

The opening track “3K47” features Supa BWE’s shattering vocals and a shrieking synth line provided by Carl while Mullatto stands by. The three stay interchangeable from start to finish: a necessary skill when their hard drive containing the original version of the project crashed a month before the release date. Regardless, the boastful declarations of Supa on the introduction give way to Carl’s dream-like “Sandstorm.”

Carl’s an ever-thoughtful teenager with a wisdom seemingly beyond his years. The young MC flexes on the bars and the instrumental, setting a decidedly off-kilter beginning to the project before “Summer Kings” with Abel Gray finds the group more squarely where fans have known them; albeit with some matured intonations.

“Before The War” featuring Chicago Punk revivalists Twin Peaks is the closest Hurt gets to the overall influence of their sound. However, the potential for a full-scale rock-tinged Hurt song is still something for the future. The track fails to harness the essence of Twin Peaks’ rock aesthetic, opting instead for light guitar chords thinly veiled under the production. It’s the one point in the tape that it seemed as though the group pulled back a bit, leaving the door open for much more.

“Social Network (Gang)” featuring Mick Jenkins is the magnum opus of the project; the quintessential turn up song on a project drenched in down-tempo feels. Together with “Computers” featuring Saba and Alex Wiley, the crew proves it has the ability to make a hit. They show a tremendous amount of growth elsewhere that’s underlined by local co-signs. “Stay Awake” sees the group powerfully assert themselves over production from ZenZan Beats and a certifying verse from Twista on the back end of the track.

The true success of Hurt Everybody is their consistent ability to cover somewhat typical hip-hop motifs without sounding like it. Much of they lyrical content is far from earth shattering. Yet, it again comes packaged here in some sort of mysticism unique to the Hurt squad that makes everything seems decidedly more magical than most.

Earlier this year Kendrick Lamar said that he created an album that people needed, rather than what they maybe wanted. Coming from the ground floor of one of the most politicized cities in the country, Hurt Everybody appropriately makes a statement on a variety of social ills that have plagues the new and timelines throughout 2015.

It’s not just for the cameras either, Supa’s “Treat Me Caucasian” with Mick Jenkins was one of the most impactful responses to the systemic killing of black Americans by police that paced the year so far.

Here, the messages come through clear, the production shows true maturation and the trio of Supa BWE, Carl and Mullatto prove the ability to generate excitement around their product both inside and out. It’ll be exciting to see what comes in the near future.

Stream 2K47 in its entirety below.

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