Che – closed captions (Album Review)
Che – closed captions (Album Review)

The buzzing new underground artist Che creates a youthfully chaotic and intensely hyper soundscape with his first full-length album, “closed captions”.

Che, formerly known as CheRomani, is one of the underground trap’s best-kept secrets amidst the cyclic arrival of rap’s “new generation”.

Che garnered attention online in 2022 with his song “agenda” and its sequel “the final agenda”, both of which incorporated mellow, electronic instrumentals and glitchy, autotuned vocals. These traits would become Che’s signature sound for some time, especially on his short 4-song EP “3”.

The rapper would then go into somewhat of a hiatus only releasing three singles and reducing his online presence.

Fast forward to the present and Che has returned with his first full-length album “closed captions”, a maximalist hyper-pop frenzy that pushes Che’s musical style to its limits.


Considering the album only has a runtime of 22 minutes, it accomplishes way more than I expected it to.

On songs like “bluberry bakwood” and “sativa”, Che feels like a ghost trapped in a simulation that’s rapidly collapsing in on itself. This sentiment can also be felt through the lyrics as Che says, “Watch me fall in the abyss.” at the end of the last verse of the album’s opener.

The rapper creates his own videogame-type world of moral-less freedom and borderline anarchy, sometimes questioning his own mental state in living this way, all be-It briefly, “Why I got these fake friends? I know I ain’t schizo.”  

On every song, he picks one topic down and picks another one up like a child in a playground or scrolling through TikTok. In a way, I feel like that is what the album represents, or what it subconsciously embodies, fast carefree living in a videogame-like world which is probably what it feels like to be a young rapper like Che in this modern era.

sol” is my favourite track on the project, it has a plugin-ish vibe with its brighter production and Che’s brilliantly melodic chorus, which strangely feels like something Chief Keef might’ve come up with if he got his hands on similar production way back in 2015.

On the topic of production, the producer Natexco must be commended for the cohesion and soundscape of the project. Known on Soundcloud for his glitchy Y2K production, he engineered his sound perfectly for Che to perform on and the pair complement each other in a near-perfect way.

Che’s zoned out detached attitude and flow are like the vocal embodiment of Natexco’s hyperpop, emo surrealness which the album’s closer “frank ocean” represents to the full extent.

“frank ocean” has the surreal vibe and metaphorically emotive lyrics of a frank ocean song, however with a glitchcore Y2K filter. “I ain’t been sexually open (Oh yeah)

I ain’t been mentally copin”, the young rapper sings as Natexco’s epic finale-like production barges its way through everything.

The song feels like the culmination of Che’s journey back to real life, or the come down from a hedonistic high. Che seems to realize that life isn’t a videogame in a few of the verses of this song, in a darkly desperate way:

“My stomach keep churnin’ (My stomach keep churnin’)

How you act like you’re so heartless?

I know you won’t find anybody else

Bitch, nobody else is perfect.

I don’t got no other destiny (Yeah, yeah)

I know that she just want the best for me (Yeah)

I promise that I’m not your enemy”

The ending to the album is satisfying and justifies all its chaos and sometimes ineligible rapping that might put most new listeners off Che’s niche sound. I think “closed captions” was an impressive feat for a rapper so early in their career. After some months of experimenting, it seems Che has found his core sound.

Score/Excellent: For those that enjoy weird, alternative music this could be the next album to add to your Spotify arsenal. It features heap loads of experimentation and out-there zany vocals that promise to scratch that alternative itch.

[We rank albums on a scale of Poor, Mediocre, Good, Excellent, Outstanding].

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