“Joey Bad and Chuck Strangers, leaving niggas endangered” was something that struck a personal chord in the youth of not just New York, but of an entire country that saw the potential that Pro Era had back in 2012. Through the years, Pro Era has evolved and become a world war phenomenon that reflected the standard of production and lyrics that made the likes of Wu-Tang and The Alchemist a common name in hip-hop. So as Chuck Strangers jumps out from the shadows in a surprise attack on his debut project Consumers Park, stepping the listener back into that timeframe where Pro Era reigned as one of the only names in music.
Strangers contains a spark in his music that is had to master, but impossible to replicate as his own personal style twinges those lines of classy and rough cut. It is reflected through his instrumentals and ability to open the spacious piano and snares that feel more as a symphony of sound that an MPC with unlimited range. Consumers Park has these glory moments where Chuck Stranger can turn down the instrumental however, and make the lyrics and voice become the foreground which is where Strangers continues to impress. Taking a track like “Style Wars” where Strangers and Joey Bada$$ take shots at the materialization of hip-hop as a movement and how it has shifted away from their craft’s style. Strangers explains, “Most my heroes ain’t balling, they falling. Step behind with the law, can you counteract the allure and still score? But what’s the higher level if your shit ain’t real, but my niggas be like playing they selves to have mass appeal.”
The production behind the two is a guitar-ridden and piano driving piece that uses these snaps of snare that feel smooth and almost relaxed to a certain aspect. There is no sting behind the inviting instrumental which almost coincides within what the two lyricists are describing. It continues that sense of tone as Strangers moves into “The Evening” which is the standout track on Consumers Park that has this booming beat, a pushing cymbal, and the guitar solos that reflect a real skill behind Strangers. He kills it through this instrumental and the way that he twists the lyrics to fit this headstrong and memorable cut. The package gets wrapped in a multi-layered level of movement that showcases the perfect balance of rough and inviting.
Consumers Park is a substantial stand out for the rhyming MC who can produce as well as he can rap. A rare breed in hip-hop, but a double threat is what makes Strangers feel constantly fresh and consistent.