If you've followed Chicago rap for the past five years, Towkio’s a name you've inevitably seen pop up at a fairly consistent clip. He’s a member of the SaveMoney crew, which also includes Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, Joey Purp, and Nico Segal (to name a few), and this tight-knit group can often be found guesting on each other's projects. Towkio’s appeared on Brian Fresco’s Mafioso, TheMind’s Summer Camp, and Chance’s Coloring Book, the last of which gave him his most high-profile look yet, appearing alongside Justin Bieber on “Juke Jam.”
Often relegated to supporting roles early on in his career, Towkio’s solo work has picked up in the last couple of years. 2015’s .Wav Theory tape racked up some critical acclaim, especially the Chance-assisted single “Heaven Only Knows.” Now he's prepping a major label debut that was apparently recorded at Rock Rubin’s Shangri-La studio. Back in June, he dropped lead single “Drift,” and now he's back with another pre-release track, “Swim.”
In keeping with Towkio’s affinity for genre-mashing, this one blends jazz, rap, and Chicago juke music into a dynamic whole, starting off with a beatless, free-form wash of sounds before revving up into a four-on-the-floor bounce halfway through. The lyrics are based around water-related imagery, including waves, which Towkio seems to really enjoy for some reason. The song arrives accompanied by an “official performance art video,” which seems like another way of saying that this is not quite a music video, but a little more involved than a lyric video. Throughout, the cameras focus on figures reflected through oil-smeared puddles on the ground, which one could say creates a “wavy” effect.
Towkio’s album doesn’t have a release date yet, but expect it in the next few months via American/Republic Records.