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Morocco Brown has returned, and it seems things may have been getting a bit hectic in his time back to a full-length release. While dude has been a consistent voice from the underground for a couple years now, his latest finds him familiarly looking internally through his music. Although this time he seems to find a few things that are different to deal with, and does just that on his latest EP, which technically serves as his debut as well: Manic.

While we did get a glimpse of what Morocco could do with a longer release with his 2014 release The Winning Loser, this apparently serves as Brown’s long-awaited step forward and it’s an impressive one at that. Brown, for his part, has existed from many angles in the local scene, biding his time with well-worn singles as he found his voice and experienced the type of stories he’s now taking the time to tell. Great art can’t be produced unless it’s coming from somewhere. Whereas other parts of the country can lean on beats and gibberish, there tends to be a higher bar of entry to the west of Lake Michigan. Chicago definitely makes you realize your story and trying to ascend the hip-hop scene will teach you how to tell it.

On his latest it seems Brown has taken his time the right way, learning the back and forth between living his days and writing about his experiences. Having existed in the peripherals of many of the rises that have happened around town the last few years, he’s also seen the other side, knows what happens if everything doesn’t work out, and seems eager to grapple with the juxtaposition throughout. On the project’s second track he alludes to as much: “I need a head space just for a second/most of my homies are shadows now”. The best part of catching an artist is when they really start to find the space they’re most comfortable operating and on Manic, Morocco Brown proves some true evolution and space to move forward.

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