Stereotypically speaking, being a rapper from Chicago can carry a certain stigma. Gangsta rap is the assumption, supported by the fact that Chicago is one of the most violent cities in America. However, collectives like the Save Money Crew, formed by Joey Purp, Chance The Rapper, and Vic Mensa, aren’t necessarily trying to destroy the image of a violent Chicago but rather showcase a different side of the story for the Windy City. With Joey Purp’s new release, iiiDrops, the young emcee is hoping that his autobiographical perspective can help provide a little insight on what it is really like to live in the massive city. Purp will be joining his friend Vic Mensa at Club Red on Wednesday, August 3.
Joey’s album iiiDrops provides an autobiographical soundscape of the emcee. Songs like “Cornerstone” and “When I’m Gone” give us an introspective and reflective view over soulful and often unusual production. Essentially, Joey is telling tales of a young man coming up in the streets of Chicago while dodging violence and reaching for the dream. However, unlike young Chicago rappers like Chief Keef, Joey isn't the one holding the gun. With perspective in mind, Purp wanted to leave the title of the project open to interpretation to those listening.
“The idea originally was something classic, something that aids with vision,” Purp coolly says.
With a city that is constantly in the news for random acts of gun violence, one of Purp’s main goals as an artist is make sure that the true image of Chicago doesn’t get lost in the media hype. Not to say that the city isn’t violent. Purp accepts that fact. However, he is not pleased with insincere media coverage exploiting the crime and violence of Chicago.
“It’s interpreted however you want to interpret it as,” Purp says. “But it’s misrepresented. The way that people and the media sensationalize the murders and the numbers, they don’t talk about the actual problem or the people that are losing their lives or what we can do to help. They just sensationalize the scary idea of this place you shouldn’t go to.”
The Save Money member has plenty of love for his fellow friends as the stars continues to rise for Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa. Both of them appear on iiiDrops on various tracks. However, besides a few collaborations and tour runs here and there, it is hard to say if Save Money will ever pursue anything as a collective.
“I think that what happens will happen,” Joey elaborates. “We do a lot of stuff together because we are friends. I don’t necessarily see any labeled tour or project coming soon; we’re all on our own.”
Despite this, Joey still has big plans. With a full-length LP in the works and a tour run with his friend Vic, Purp's only hope is to be able to spread his story to as many people as possible.