Soulstice: Dead Letter Perfect

From Kanye to Common, the Midwest is burning with talent and Chi-town native Soulstice throws his own words into the competition with his latest Dead Letter Perfect (Wandering Soul), making him a viable contender. Soulstice, one half of the group Wade Waters, returns with this solo effort as he spits soulful lyrics and conscious rhymes. It's no shock that Soulstice tackles heavy subject matters with intelligence; he does have a Master's in electrical computer engineering. Also a master lyricist, Soulstice proves his verbal agility through powerful and insightful prose heard throughout Dead Letter Perfect. Thankfully, his wordsmanship overshadows the sometimes inconsistent beats that riddle this album. Good thing for Soulstice he doesn’t pretend to be the perfect rapper admitting his faults on “Not Perfect”: “Nah, I’m not perfect, in fact sometimes far from it/Might break rules depending on how bad I want it/Sometimes patient, sometimes I’m not/Sometimes forget to appreciate what I’ve got.”Soulstice doesn’t disregard the imperfections found in his music; instead he does what he does best and fills Dead Letter Perfect with verbal explosions full of intelligent rhymes. On the album opener “Southside Ride,” Soulstice sets the stage for his lyrical power. “Explode on contact, lines of shrapnel/You know it’s raw when you hear the vinyl crackle/Pen is my muse, drawn not from women and booze/Uh, a little bit but not enough to get it confused/Soulstice spit grimy and gritty as hell/Not too many other cats rep my city this well/Chi-town, ride down, Southside we live/Got sick night game plus a nine-to-five.”On "World On Fire" Soulstice trades verses with his Wade Waters partner Haysoos. The chemistry displayed between these two easily makes this the best track on the album. He also teams up with D.C. based rapper Oddisee on the business plan anthem "Get It Right." Even though Dead Letter Perfect has a few weak tracks including "Be Strong" and "The Time;" Soulstice still manages to put together a healthy album full of conscious music over soulful beats. His music sounds nothing like his Midwest peers, but no one ever got noticed for following in another's footsteps. While Soulstice isn't the world's greatest MC, he's taking a chance to change the world of Hip-Hop with his own version of soul.