eGo Jaleel – Who Is He (Prod The25thHour)

eGo Jaleel is yet another ambassador of Chicago. You may recognize the voice from his one-off collab with Chance The Rapper called “Ridin’ Round.” Now days, however, he looks to make a name for himself without relying on features. With such a goal in mind, he releases “Who Is He.”

The production from The25thHour is polished, looming, and dominant, providing a fitting backing for eGo to both sate his current fans and introduce himself to newcomers. The track’s chorus finds eGo asking himself who he is, allowing him to address a question he suspects many may have.

He spends the first verse establishing his authentic ties to Chicago by making a distinction between himself and the culture vultures who boast false claims. Having gotten that out of the way, eGo offers some allegories to convey his identity. One such example is particularly poignant:

“Catch me in┬áSauconys
I don’t really like designer shoes
But I still buy designers just
to say I got designer dude”

In my mind, this presents eGo as someone begrudgingly entrenched in the culture of representation. He believes it has a functionality, without ever conceding that he respects it. We also get some solid wordplay on “Who Is He.”

“Fuck a deal n–ga
Keep your cards”

This is a to-the-point expression of a sentiment many hold: fuck labels. I enjoy how he freshened it up with by flipping a record deal into a dealt hand of cards. A more extended metaphor of interest finds eGo comparing the bomb head he gets from your girl on the plane to a bomb one might traditionally associate with Saddam Hussein.

“When I’m on tour we fuck around
And hit the bitch on the bus, its lit on the bus
I might hit your bitch on the plane
Its Mr. Hussein
The bomb when she give me her brain”

It should be noted that I don’t think Saddam Hussein himself was ever on a plane with a bomb, nor were his underlings. I think they just aimed to crash the planes into buildings, no bomb needed. I tried to Google this, but only found a slew of conspiracy theories about how 9/11 was an inside job. I would dig deeper but that’s the sort of search I really don’t need in my browser history. Regardless, I get what eGo means and appreciate the pun. Check out the track below, and be on the lookout for a forthcoming, yet to be named, EP.

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Ian Lunn

"Little things are big things to mice"