‘Pen ‘N Teller’ feels more like an opening weekend than the musings of industry veterans, but we definitely have the makings of a long run on the Vegas strip.

The seven-track EP from King Chab and Rab G should have any hip hop head excited as it is a blend of classic lyricism with modern sound.

The Theme Song – The intro for ‘Pen ‘N Teller’ is a throwback to the heyday of Las Vegas. Think Rat Pack, Wayne Newton, and getting ready to be amazed by true entertainers. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s start the show.

Showtime – One thing I fully expected going into this project was barz and on the first song I was not disappointed. If you watched the mini-movie ‘The Last Magician’ then you got a glimpse of what would be in store on “Showtime”. Rab G opens the track with energy and conviction, “Dang Chav/ they ain’t been through half the stuff that we have/ I’ve done died, revived, relapsed and been through rehab/ no wonder why when we snap magic seems to happen” Chav gives us a prime example of why he is one of the best lyricists in CHH on this track. The hook is simple as the guys declare that it’s “Showtime” repeatedly which is probably the weakest part of the track, but the verses more than makeup for it.

Handle My Biz – So the fellas dropped a couple of singles before the release of ‘Pen ‘N Teller’, and we will get to those tracks soon, but “Handle My Biz” just about made me forget that I had heard anything off of the project to this point. The flows here are crazy. From the change in patterns to the cadence, “Handle My Biz” is an ode to hip hop heads who are more concerned with what an emcee is saying and how they present that message instead of a “wave” or “vibe” that is simply about how it feels instead of hitting you with memorable barz. Again, the greatest flaw is that the track doesn’t have that hook that stays with you, but I’m okay with that to be able to listen to what we do have.

Patience – The fourth track of the project starts off with laid back production and a bell that listeners are either going to love or hate. When the beat drops though you get a hook that has plenty of energy. “I’ve been hoping, I’ve been wishing, I’ve been praying/ I’ve been waiting for the moment when we make it/ I know you cried because we never gave in/ if it ain’t now I’mma still be patient”  An element here that we have yet to get on the project to this point is a catchy melody. The truth is, up until now it has been about what Chav and Rab can do lyrically, but now we see that they can also craft a catchy hook that rides that melody line.

Live at the Rio – This is the first of two singles that came out prior to the EP. “Live at the Rio” is one of those anthem tracks where you can easily see a crowd getting hype to. Close your eyes and imagine a venue doing a little call and response, screaming out “Bet on that!” as Chav and Rab provide the energy onstage.

Sleight of Hand – We now have our second of the pre-release singles. “Sleight of Hand” was my personal favorite of the two singles. I love the production and the way it drives the verses. You also have to love the contrast with the dramatic breakdowns here (if you don’t we can still be cool, I just view you a little differently now is all).

Visions – The final track is showing love to the parents who helped inspire not only the music that Chav and Rab are now making but most importantly their faith. It is the most subdued track on the project but the sound perfectly compliments the subject matter. If you are a fan of tracks that get you in your feels, then “Visions” may be your favorite of ‘Pen ‘N Teller’.

Normally I don’t mention artwork, but in the case of ‘Pen ‘N Teller’ I feel like I have no choice. The cover art is one of the more clean and eye-catching graphics I’ve seen recently. The design and final product screams “high quality” and really sets the tone of the project even before you press play to enjoy the show.

Favorite Tracks:

1. Handle My Biz
2. Sleight of Hand