Shakeed • Thinking Out Loud EP

Shakeed is a relative unknown, but his EP Thinking Out Loud should have people giving him a strong look going forward. Yes, his unknown status may change soon as Shakeed's pensive Suspended License mixtape came out only a month ago and there’s no way to build your buzz like quality release on quality release. Thinking Out Loud has more flash than Suspended License and struck me as blending old-school and new-school, hitting a classic vibe in flow and applying fresh production that gleams in the faded light of Shakeed’s sun-down rhymes. The mixtape intro goes 0-60 with a rapid-fire remix of "Get 2 Bussin’" and it’s a quick education in how Shakeed can flex on the mic. Thinking Out Loud chills out from the first track here and there but Shakeed never relents on the ferocity. Throughout the project Shakeed's focused intensity and disciplined lyricism propels Thinking Out Loud forward in an excellent demonstration of rap as technical skill. The hazy production provides dusky atmosphere that Shakeed's flair illuminates, thick clouds floating around his words. Give it a spin, look for more Shakeed in the future, and expect the heat to keep coming...where there's smoke there's fire.