Updated: Aug 23
White Noize has to be one of the most definitive characters exemplifying the theme, “Underestimated”, which is the name and title of his debut 10 track hip hop album. You might think this Chicagoland rapper crunches numbers all day in an office, but by night, he’s killing stages; such as the Subterranean in Wicker Park and the Hairpin Arts Center in Logan Square.
Underestimated was accompanied by a 5 week consecutive performance series at the Lyrics and Libations open mic, which you can find on YouTube called “The Underestimated Series”. I saw every single set; the growth and explosiveness of White Noize was incredible! My personal favorites are Next Up and Victory Lap.
Again don’t let the image, the age, or the brand fool you, White Noize can flow, he can spit, he’s got bars, the whole nine yards. White Noize leans into and shoulders all the usual remarks and responses to his rapping, and leaves it all on wax.
Lonely Hearts is the first track where White Noize begins the album talking about how nothing else matters because he’s got his own back. “I am not a gimmick, give a damn about my image, gotta be consistent when you tryna to go the distance”…here he details not caring about looks and putting in the real work of being an emcee of the craft. “They can’t knock me off my Pegasus, that’s my high horse”…this is a dope line because Pegasus was a Greek horse with wings that could fly hence White Noize being on his high horse cause now he’s focused and winning.
Beautiful is a record where White Noize describes all things that are beautiful. “Beauty in the struggle, beauty in the hustle, beauty when they twist your words trying to burst your bubble, when it’s hard to navigate there’s beauty in our pain, never push the clouds away there’s beauty in the rain.” Beauty is a two minute and twenty seconds rap track where White Noize weaves beauty in and out of different rhymes, situations, ideas, schemes, and more. “Beauty in this life even when it seems tainted!” White Noize remains positive when things are awry.
Through It All has an 80s racer flick vibe in the melody of the beat. White Noize comes in with confidence both in bars and voice. “On a different wave length sorry that you can’t relate! Got no time to waste when you’re chasing accolades!…”Impossible to lose when you’ve got so much to gain!” Each bar crafted by White Noize is almost a reaffirming, uplifting, mantra about perseverance and winning in your pursuits. “Fuck a fucking hater man learn to drown them out!” Hearing this line on the record and seeing it performed live gets me every time, the delivery is perfect and hilarious. Through it all is also a favorite having seen it performed in real time at the Hairpin Arts Center.
Timeless has a dope intro where White Noize’ voice echoes about the length of the beat. The beat is a bit faster and White Noize keeps up rhythmically getting into a nice pocket. “Seeing things through a different lens, focused on the money, all about them ends!” “Funny now they talking in a different tone, why you think I ride alone?” “What you gonna do when the rubber hits the road? Going for the gusto going for the gold?” Gold is a jewel we’ve always coveted so it speaks to the timelessness themes that White Noize paints in track 4.
Real, a straightforward track about keeping it real. “No matter what they say I keep it real!” “Forget about the cynical and critical, lock into that top spot the motherfucking pinnacle” Here he raps about not paying attention to your critics and naysayers because he’s honed in on his raps goals. If you ever get the chance to meet White Noize in person he’s authentic, he keeps it real.
In Reflections White Noize starts the track detailing how he went from making no music to doing features. “Respect is something earned, ima get the credit I deserve, whenever they chirp I just kick them to the curb, miss me with that bullshit, save it for the birds, I’m a fucking Wolf boy, I don’t follow herds.” The rhyme scheme and structure here is impeccable, and White Noize reminds his listeners that his rap skills are not a gimmick, they’re the truth! Reflections is a great record but the entire album is filled with White Noize’s reflections on his path till now! The 10 track LP, Underestimated, takes you on a journey!
“Shit is thumping!” Next Up is a BANGER, when White Noize rocked this joint live for the first time he had the entire Lyrics and Libations Logan Square crowd going absolutely nuts, everyone was getting loose, dancing, moving, and bumping to his flow over the beat. “Pull up to the club in a big black truck, look at my cup, and I’m about to act up, put this in your system, come on, turn the bass up!” The hook slaps and White Noize compliments it well with tight verses.
Can I, is a record where White Noize ponders his future as a rapper and what he’s capable of accomplishing in the game realistically. “Can I stay focused, remember what I wrote?” Detailing how sometimes anxiety makes us forget our rhymes live. “Will I change the landscape and garner praise? Or will I fall from grace?” Questioning will he make enough of an impact and become successful, or will he fall off? Can I is an introspective record where White Noize puts his potential and ceiling on the line for the fans to think about, but ultimately, nothing will take White Noize off his game.
Talk About It is where White Noize chronicles his past relationship experience with a woman who clearly wronged him, he leaves his feelings on the record. “Thinking with my erection, thank god I used protection, life could have gone left, another direction!” Here he infers that they could have had a child together (or contracted STDs) thankfully that didn’t happen or complicate things. “You were my addiction like some dopamine, kept running back for more like a dope fiend!” White Noize tells his listeners to put it all on the table and talk about it, referencing his past with this specific woman, acting as a vehicle to be open and honest about his life story.
White Noize kicks off the last track, Victory Lap, by talking about how Jamari in the studio reminded just who is he? He’s mofo WHITE NOIZE!! And don’t forget it, my man’s got BARS. “Pick your favorite iron man, stark or Ripken” White Noize drops a little comic book and baseball reference here. “I stuck to the script while I worked on my diction”, he’s constantly improving his craft. “Went from scared to confident, weak to dominant, kept my name right, promise it’ll be prominent!” The structure and scheme here sticks out because it’s another high level pattern being woven into thick beats by White Noize.. “Funny how his haters always fade away like a step back!” I’m a sucker for basketball references. Victory Lap rounds off the 10 track LP, Underestimated, in a ultra charismatic manner as White Noize lays down punch after punch.
Underestimated is streaming on all platforms and you can also go watch his 5 consecutive week performance series on his YouTube channel! It is highly recommended. White Noize proves he’s here to stay deserving of space in not only the Chicago scene, but the game at large. What will White Noize do next? Not sure, whatever music he drops, I know now, he won’t be “Underestimated”.