"Cornerstore": Joey Purp ft. Saba & TheMIND
Production: Thelonious Martin
Joey Purp is a strange case. Despite being at the forefront of Chicago's hugely talented pool of rappers in the late 2010s, Purp seems to be better known through shoutouts from his peers, namely Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper, than from his own tracks. Like Towkio, Purp is often the 5th or 6th 'Save Dat Money' affiliate one can think of, and as a result, his name often gets forgotten more than it should.
"Cornerstore" is every bit as good as any track that's come out of Chicago in the last five years.
Purp and Saba trade highly emotional verses over an urgent beat that never lets you let up. In an album fronted with singles that are more focused on sex than substance, "Cornerstore" is intensely personal, as the two Chi-town residents blend well-crafted flows with cuttingly transparent statements of pain.
DJ Akademiks infamously caught some flack in 2017 for sticking his nose too firmly, and too tactlessly into Chicago's current struggles. Purp and Saba willingly invite you in to gaze at their plight. And in their picture, "ain't none of it pretty".