Chicago, forever a hip-hop hotbed for soul samples, choirs, and raw talent.
On Monday, GRAMMY-winning producer Cam O’bi, the beatsmith behind SZA's “Doves In The Wind,” Chance The Rapper's “Blessings (Reprise)” and Isaiah Rashad's “Free Lunch,” launched his brand new single, “TenderHeaded,” but this time around, the Chicago-based native Las Vegas is both behind and in front the boards.
The single, featuring a stellar guest verse from Smino, is a sweet ode to the trials and tribulations his youth. Cam recounts sullen trips to the barbershop and the “pitfalls adolescence / spitballs and scrabble sessions and tattle-tales / playing around in the hallway like one Santa's elves.”
Cam’s staccato delivery gives the original sample room to breathe and saturate the track with hues pink and orange. As a nice counterforce, Smino brings his syrupy, by way St. Louis flow to the track, spitting a freeing verse about pursuing music and working against the system to follow his dreams.
As for that baby in the background, Cam employed a familiar face. “The baby is my real life nephew,” he told DJBooth text. “I sampled him laughing”
“TenderHeaded” is the first single from Cam O’bi’s highly-anticipated solo debut album, Grown Ass Kid. And yes, we’re just as excited as you are.