CHICAGO | April 1, 2015 - Today, 19-year-old Chicago rapper Ric Wilson dropped his first project, Penny Raps, and it goes hard. I was fortunate enough to be invited to be one of the features, which also include Jamila Woods, SolarFive, GLC, Talib Kweli, Malcolm London and other up-and-coming artists like Bella Bahs, Ethos, Steven Willis and Ash Frost. Penny Raps might be well described as melodic hip-hop with a rich soul. Equally comfortable delivering rhythmic bars as crooning semi-playfully, especially in the love songs, Wilson's great strength is his musical versatility. And that versatility extends to the subject matter of the tape, which ranges from the aforementioned love overtures, to the politics of education and economics. This latter is sensible, since Ric is well-known as an activist who came to prominence with a highly-publicized presentation at the United Nations with We Charge Genocide. Active, musical, talented and ready. If you fancy yourself a rap connoisseur, if you're interested in new, thoughtful, musical work that's not afraid to keep it grimy from time to time, or if you just want something to vibe to, you will appreciate this work.