Spun: Chief Navaho

By Wyatt Anton

The debut release from Calgary natives Chief Navaho is notable for the simple way in which it presents an alternative to mainstream hip hop, to the point where even their ability to make a rap song without having to mention a high-end fashion brand is impressive.

Lofthead’s content is more inclusive than your average hip-hop fare. Lyrical delivery in the verses, presided over by Matthew Sinclair, is unpolished and easy to listen to. Sean Sinclair’s harmonic vocals dispersed throughout the album are reminiscent of solid singers of the G-funk era, and help balance the rawness of rapped verses.

The album as a whole consists of stripped-down beats and obscure samples. Lofthead is haunting- maybe too much so. Tracks blend together too much, although perhaps this is purposeful. “Fries and a Milkshake,” on the other hand, is a standout track- a bit lighter than the rest of the album with a bouncy, distorted bass-driven beat.

Lofthead is highly listenable and keeps delivering with every play. Compared to much of today’s hip hop, it’s a breath of fresh air. The final verdict is that Chief Navaho is doing it right, which earns it 10 out of a possible 11 pairs of throwback high-tops.

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