The first half of the album runs on wired-up excess like a Safdie Bros. movie set in the house shows and dive bars of Chicago’s northwest side. On “Run Pts. I & II,” Ripley trades debaucherous verses with TWENTY3 CRISS over a bluesy shuffle. Ripley’s narrator sounds high on his own confidence and beyond over the 808 boom of “Switch Lanes,” featuring a nimble guest verse from Ajani Jones.
GOD COMPLEX takes an introspective turn midway through, as the narrator comes down and takes stock of his drug use and emotional turmoil on lead single “On God / On Me”.
On the MARTIN $KY produced “Reflections,” Ripley and Qari rap about the search for inner peace in higher powers and communities. “Once I got my life back together I ironically had to surrender and accept faith in something – myself,” he says of the track. “Along with that came accountability and recognizing my faults and mistakes.”
By the album’s conclusion, Ripley is starting a new day freestyling towards a more actualized self. GOD COMPLEX is a quick, dirty, compelling album from an emerging Chicago talent. Let us pray.