Hiphop-Soul

Enter Chester Watson, a Florida teenager who sits so comfortably and skillfully amongst his influences that he already feels like their peer. His latest release, Past Cloaks, from a new label called POW Records—a project of Pitchfork contributor Jeff Weiss—is an actual cassette, which means that the more you play it, the more it’ll degrade, before eventually breaking down entirely.

Past Cloaks is, in a way, a very necessary compilation tape. True to underground rap fashion, Watson’s discography is already daunting, but by pulling together material he’s recorded over the past few years—unreleased or otherwise—he’s dialed in on the mythology that he’s been building, focusing it in an unexpectedly breezy 19-track sequence that pulls warbly samples from damaged-beyond-repair records and snatches of TV dialogue, flipping them into compositions that fit together like melted puzzle pieces.