Carvalho’s introspective verses and vivid storytelling illuminate In Dust Real Evolution, saluting his Pops (“Live Forever,” “When I Turn Around”) while keenly satisfying hip-hop heads; the opening cuts “Evo-lution” and “Never Say Never” are trunk-knocking gems. On the latter, he fluidly rips into the first verse: “Now if tomorrow was a guarantee, I wouldn’t be the same man that you’re about to see/Take you on a literary mission, my goal as a musician is to teach you all to listen,” before ending the 16 bars with, “Life is a bitch but you can never forget her.” Rap fan or not, I guarantee “Never Say Never” will stay with you. Chachi channels expert tale-spinner Nas over woozy horns on “Message Clear”; we can envision the black Ruger on the desk and the kilos in the basement. “I’m tough as nine inch nails, tougher than leather/And not afraid to tell my life story to whoever,” Carvalho says on “When I Turn Around.” A young woman lacking guidance is addressed on “Girl Interrupted” (“she never read a book but she showin’ off her Fendi and her Prada look”), while Carvalho takes on drunk driving on “Car Keys” and assumes the role of a homeless man on “Last Dollar.” Yet as always, there’s a higher purpose behind the narratives.
“There are many moves I would like to make behind this project, and I believe that there are a few songs on the album that could potentially grow wings,” Carvalho told me. “Songs like ‘Car Keys’ and ‘Last Dollar’ have a much bigger purpose than just being in someone’s iPod.
“I would like to join forces with some local and or national organizations to create campaigns behind these songs and raise awareness about drunk driving and homelessness,” he said.
Chachi has spent the better part of a decade sharing stages with national artists, from KRS-One to 50 Cent and Clipse. I asked if he has received any beneficial advice from his legendary peers over the years. He recalled a show he played in New York City.
“Pharoahe Monch hosted the show and took a liking to my music. We had a chance to speak for a while; he’s a deep individual.
“The one thing he said that stuck out was to trust in the universe. He said the universe listens to our calling, if we choose to follow our calling.”
RI PEACE FEST featuring THE BEARD BROTHERS + SWANN NOTTY + JAHPAN + THEO MARTINS + STARRS & MURPH & more | Thursday, April 7 @ 8 pm | The Met, 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket | All ages, $10 | 401.729.1005 | themetri.com + 4/20 FEST featuring CHACHI + CR THE BEAST + JAHPAN + VANDALYZM + more | April 20 @ 8 pm | Firehouse 13, 41 Central St., Providence | 401.270.1801 | firehouse13.org | chachihiphop.com