In a sphere of so many young MCs taking cues from the sound du jour, Chicago rhymer Sage The 64th Wonder is ideating his own subgenre: Shikigami Jazz. He offered the first introduction to it on Christmas, with the release of his debut SAGEWAV LP. The 17 track projects covers many themes ever-relevant to Millennials, such as inner discontent, trying to be an individual in a cacophony of groupthink, and the vices one explores after realizing, “every human in this shit lacks initiative,” as he decreed on “Guardian of The 64th Wonder.”
To Sage’s credit, he doesn’t let the nihilism consume him. He defiantly offers verbal middle fingers to all that oppose the ethos of he and his Slump Gang crew, ultimately balancing his angst with lyrical onslaughts of social commentary and asking for “energy combined with affinity” on “Juxtaposition.” Sage rhymes with an impassioned swiftness throughout the project, whether on the uptempo, jazz-influenced boom bap tracks or the more methodical, experimental trap sound such as standout “Slumped.” The sonic shift towards the end of the album allows Sage to explore the entirety of his artistry. Overall, SAGEWAV is an impressive premiere of “the new wave of soundscapes globally,” as Sage put it.