We gave it a B
Kanye West and Common gave Chicago its rep as a breeding ground for innovative rap. Cristalle Bowen — a.k.a. Psalm One — furthers the tradition. Like her predecessors, she leavens street swagger with vulnerability, delivering gunshot-free boasts and stories that go beyond true-crime narratives — like a touching, conflicted meditation on childhood hard knocks where she declares herself ”A loner/A rebel/A stoner/A pebble.” Some tracks on The Death of Frequent Flyer invoke her hometown’s blues tradition or its Latino and Indian communities; all of them, even when the rhymes slacken, showcase an MC worth rooting for.