"The braggadocio is there, and we're plenty boastful," Swann says, "but we're not . . ."
Chachi chimes in, "We ain't angry rappers, ya know? We're not walking around scowling and screw-facing," he said. "There's no need for that."
J. DePina's beats boom and crackle throughout Brand New Vintage, and guided the recording process.
"This album was inspired by the beat," Carvalho explains. "The beat can inspire a hook, or a concept or idea. When we started we all said, 'Let's not think about it too much, we'll just let it rip.' "
DePina is a dual threat, pulling a Pete Rock and hopping on the mic for standout track "THR33 Reasons," where he closes out his verse with, "Word to my son, daughter and nieces, and nephew — we the wrong ones to step to."
"Think Before You Move" is a personal favorite; and see how many Swann/Chachi song and album titles you can cull from the clever concept of "Track Listing" (see: Master Ace's "Maybe Next Time"). The guys initially address the ladies on "Women," but eventually vent about pretty-boy dudes sporting skinny jeans as Chachi sneers, "What the fuck? You got umbrellas in your cup full of pink stuff lookin' tough but you sippin' like women." The hook on "Head Nod" is tailor-made for summertime cruising; the interweaving bars and booming horns on the killer title track had me doing the Kid 'n Play Kick Step with my desk chair. And Chachi's opening verse on "Grand Finale" should go down as one of his best yet: "Thirty some-odd years in life I made friends and enemies an' frenemies that pretend to be a friend of me/Now they just a memory, the problem is the pain that I gain when I take trips down memory lane."
The trio has a slew of respected local rap artists in their corner, from CR the Beast handling A&R duties, DJ Mekalek and DJ Therion on the cuts, and longtime friend, producer, and Beatbox co-owner Vertygo served as studio engineer on the album.
Chachi, DePina, and Swann anticipate big things on tap in 2013. Just this week they opened for Talib Kweli for a second time, and casual conversation eventually turns to plans for an overseas tour. But it is clear the trio will take their time and plot accordingly.
"It's been a really cool ride so far," DePina says, "but the journey has just begun."
"Head Nod," from Brand New Vintage, is available for download now on Soundcloud.
THR33 PIECE SUIT | Friday, March 8 @ 11 pm | Fête Lounge, 101 Dike St, Providence | $10 | 401.383.1112 | chachihiphop.com