Chung & Cotola
Chung Shui II
RIYL: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib; Cities Aviv; lounging in a smokey basement
The follow up to 2021’s Chung Shui, Chung Shui II is a masterclass in collaboration, featuring two artists whose distinct styles bring out the very best in one another.
Across the record, rapper Chung’s savvy lyrical street sense meshes incredibly well with producer Cotola’s dusty throwback digs. Cotola’s heavily sample-based instrumentals place little-to-no emphasis on percussion, a small but significant decision that is felt as the resulting music snakes like a puff of smoke and hangs in the air, permeating everything (“You Know I Gotta”). This choice has a staggering effect, giving each song a relaxed feel that lets Chung bask in a loose flow that beams cool, collected confidence (especially on “Set the Tone”). It’s a kind of confidence built on trust between the artists, and one that’s evinced in the freedom and playfulness of the material.
– Michael Rancic