By Matthew Bu
When Kanye West claimed that everyone from Chicago wanted to make soul beats just like him on his song Homecoming, he probably wasn’t expecting MC Tree. Tree is the latest rapper/producer to rise in the booming Chicago hip-hop scene. Along with other Chicago natives such as Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa, he is helping put Chicago hip-hop back on the map. While he is inspired by the soul production that both Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa follow, MC Tree stays clear of that lane and, instead, fashions his own style. He is the self-declared pioneer of soul trap (check his Twitter): trap beats with a soft touch of a soul twang. You can hear this in his songs. Classic trap trademarks such as 16th high hats and heavy drum-beats are copious, but they build upon one another to create a soulful aura. Even MC Tree’s singing adds to the soul aesthetics – but his singing voice is not as tame as R&B legends or even Drake’s. He sounds like Tom Waits trying to impersonate Lil’ Wayne after doing too many drugs. This is not something you often hear in hip-hop. Recently, Tree released his latest EP titled THE @MCTREE EP through Scion AV for free. How does this EP stand?