premiere: ric wilson invites you to make him your “chicago bae”

August 7, 2020
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Ric Wilson’s music is a sliver of sunshine in the cloudy day that is 2020. In May, in the midst of quarantine anxiety, the Chicago-based rapper dropped his They Call Me Disco a collaborative EP with L.A. producer and multi-instrumentalist Terrace Martin (Kamasi Washington, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg). It’s a project that lives up to its name, as Wilson skillfully flows over funk and disco-inspired tracks courtesy of Martin and co-producers Ted Chung and J Trx. It’s bright and bouncy and the video for “Chicago Bae” is a visual representation of the EP’s energy. In the romantic live-action and animated video Win Homer-directed video ee get a glimpse of long-distance and socially distanced romance as Ric woos a woman via Facetime until his imagination is unleashed and the two meet in animated bliss.

Wilson had this to say about the making of the ebullient track and its timely video:

“We started making the video to ‘Chicago Bae’ around the time everyone was running into Walmarts taking all of the toilet papers. We couldn’t physically be together but wanted to make something that could bring people together more. We planned to drop around end of May but then the uprising happened and there were more important things to be talking about. The song’s history is a longer one. Ted Chung showed me this incredible beat with this incredible sample that him and J-Trx produced. BJ wrote and sung this incredible hook, I wrote all of the verses last June and Terrace finished the song by putting live drums in this past February. I’m honored to be featured on a song with two incredible Black musicians that I consider living legends. I don’t really know anyone who’s singing better than BJ The Chicago Kid right now and I don’t know who’s embodying and pushing the boundaries of all genres of black music right now as much as Terrace.”

Ric Wilson’s They Call Me Disco is streaming everywhere now. Catch Wilson on AFROPUNK’s Sound Check IG Live interview series today at 3 p.m. ET.