XVR HLDY – Black Alabaster (feat. Saba & NoName Gypsy)

The last few years have seen Chicago reemerge as one of rap’s centermost hubs, with Chance the Rapper and Chief Keef serving as the most visible examples of the diversity of styles emerging from the city. While those two have achieved the most attention, what’s more exciting is the incredible talent that’s still lesser known. Saba and NoName Gypsy have been around long enough to show up on Chance’s 2013 mixtape Acid Rap, and today they’ve teamed up on fellow up-and-comer XVR HLDY’s “Black Alabaster.” Occupying a dark, spacey mood, the track lets them ruminate on the challenges of racism and violence in Chicago, something that’s driven some of the most powerful music emerging from the city over the past few years. It’s a worthy contender to songs like “Paranoia” that contemplate these issues, and well worth a listen as perpetual cold descends upon the city. Stream it above, and look for XVR HLDY’s Need II Know: Luna EP out in February.