Having already recorded much of Convertibles in 2012, Chuck Inglish invested a great deal in the timelessness of his work, meaning that he was confident that it’d remain relevant. To his credit he does have an eye for trends. It was the lifeblood of the Cool Kids, and kept their name circulating for years. As a soloist, however, it’s not about acknowledging the trends, but starting them. That fine line can either define or sink a career.
On Convertibles Inglish is unwilling to step out completely on his own – at least lyrically. Instead of coming forward with his best writtens he opts to let his beats do the talking, quietly deferring to a cast of talented wordsmiths to do the heavy lifting.
Despite the passive aggressive approach, there are a slew of highlights that cast a net over some longstanding fanbases. “Legs” featuring Chromeo is a jam, rife with the same crossover appeal that made the Cool Kids something of a phenomenon in the first place: [LISTEN]
There’s a little something for everyone on the album. For the lyrical goons there’s “Gametime” with Action Bronson, neo-soul enthusiasts “P.R.I.S.M.” featuring Jade Hurtado, and for the introspective golden-era babies “Glam” featuring Chance the Rapper: [LISTEN]
On the short term all these one hit wonders bode well for Inglish because it’s not so much about the lyrics as it is about the beats. Convertibles is an audio business card promoting the one thing he’s really good at: pulling strings as a behind the scenes guy. The album features about as good a roster as you could ask for, which puts his beats in the ear of nearly every major label exec out there, a savvy move on his part. The biggest question, however, is whether or not it’s too late.
Two years is a long time to wait between the completion of an album and its release date. In rap years it may as well be an eternity. Those delays and setbacks seem to be the biggest hurdle in the life of not only Inglish put the whole Cool Kids movement in general.
The feel of the album is dated, as if he wanted to wait until he saw that the trends he was embracing were worth cosigning on. That slight hesitation, that small lapse in courage ripples across the landscape touching every corner of the album. It places it right on the precipice of yesterdays news.
“Dreamy” the only song without a feature sets it out for the world to see. It’s entertaining, but motivated by the same trivial pursuits that inspire almost every song in Chuck Inglish’s catalog: [LISTEN]