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There’s a lot of talent in Chicago. When it comes together, it can be magical. That’s the case with this latest body of work from Qari and GreenSLLIME. Operation Hennessy.

It’s been a minute since we last heard from the ever-independent Qari, who’s made a habit out of teaming up with well-heeled production. Long been held as one of the pre-eminent artists of wordplay the city has to offer, Qari’s been comfortable within himself since diverging from Hurt Everybody with Mulatto Beats a few years back. His Space Jam record in 2017 with his former HE teammate perked ears and last year’s No Time To Explain with Cangelosi still stands as one of my favorites from last year. Before all that, he linked with Sen Morimoto for a more experimental project.

With all that in the rearview, Qari approaches his latest body of work alongside GreenSLLIME. This one is decidedly kicked-back, appropriate and authentic to the way he moves across the city day to day. There’s no shortage of bars throughout, coming off as a sort of natural stream of consciousness rather than pre-determined writtens while SLLIME offers a welcome path for the words to travel. “Pony” with Mick Jenkins stands out, as it’s the latest collaboration between the two longtime friends, offering a sort of measuring stick from their past work that coalesces into one of the best tracks on Operation Hennessy. It’s impossible to feel as though Qari doesn’t benefit from the back and forth of working with someone else, his discography to date proves as much. In that vein, “My Pony” has this smooth back and forth between Mick and Qari that comes off conversational in nature but artistic in execution; a sentiment that applies to the project as a whole.

Catch the project streaming regularly on Mild Sauce Radio.

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