Album Review // More Die of Heartbreak by Chuckie Campbell

By Kevin Tshiamala

When it comes to Rap I’m disgracefully stuck in the 90’s with the exceptions of my middle school hard on for Kanye West and Eminem. The market has been saturated with over produced sounds and prematurely thought out disrespectful rhymes they call lyrics. It is a great wonder as to how, why, and who is still listening and buying. Like me, if you’ve stopped listening, I don’t blame you. But, sometimes it’s good to reopen the book, peel back the page and take a peak, especially when the subject line reads, “Chuckie Campbell – “More Die of Heartbreak” (Ft. Wu Tang Members).”

Chuckie Campbell is a native New Yorker who writes short stories, poetry, and music. He is also the founder of an online print and journal for the arts, Sunsets and Silencers. His album “More Die of Heartbreak” was released December 21st, 2013. As hesitant as you might be to give it a listen just these two points should do it. One, the title to the album is a literary reference to Nobel Prize winning author Saul Bellow’s novel. Second, the album features two Wu Tang members Cappadonna and Solomon Childs. Despite Chuckie Campbell’s lack of prestige, the level of respect from the start is sky high.

The Album starts off with “Speak.” Right from the start you can tell that this album is not going to be filled with strip club anthems. The beat is mellow and minimal, allowing Chuckie’s scrappy voice and fast lyrical word play to take front stage. The album continues through dark poetic lyrics, wonderful choral vocals by Cole Jonique, an interesting choice of beats; appearances by the famed Wu Tang members on “Against the Grain” taking you to the end with the title track. As you glide through the album, Chuckie touches on topics such as suicide, fatherhood, cultural behavior, life struggle, and other social issues. According to Chuckie, “The album draws on the seven years after a violent physical assault that left my jaw broken in two places, an event that would affect nearly every other human relationship that took place afterward. The album is dedicated to Ralph B. Prater, my close friend, music mentor, and unlawful attacker, who committed suicide in March of 2011. It is a reminder that for every one person who makes it out alive more will die of heartbreak.” Touching and fitting it all makes sense, but the 12 track album feels stretched a bit too thin.  The production is strong (courtesy of Willie Breeding), the lyrics are good, the topics are solid, but like most albums it is too long and some songs shouldn’t have made the team. More Die of Heartbreak would have been better off as a six song LP.

Still my love for hip hop remains faithful to the 90’s, but Chuckie Campbell has made a lasting impression. For six songs remain on my iTunes: “Against the Grain,” “A Moment in Time.” “Father’s Hands,” “All I Mean,” “Ancient Astronaut Theory.” And “More Die of Heartbreak.”

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