Not every album needs to be a turn up. Sometimes it’s best to sit back, light up, and let the project run from start to finish. Therapeutic, the debut project by A-Minus and Chanes, is definitely the latter. Released via DJ Soko’s Left of Center (LOC), Therapeutic embodies the spirit of the smoke sesh in the best way. At ten tracks, the album is packed to the brim with Chanes’ hazy, chopped and screwed, bangers that fit perfectly with A-Minus’ candid storytelling. While this is the first official A-Minus and Chanes record, both have spent significant time in Detroit’s rap scene and beyond.
Chanes has produced for some of the best lyricists in the game including Fatt Father, the late Sean Price, Roc Marciano, Guilty Simpson, and Miz Korona. Chanes’ beats have also stood alone as instrumental projects for House Shoes’ Street Corner Music and Insect Records. For his part, A-Minus has honed his craft as an MC rhyming alongside some of the aforementioned rappers as well as Ruste Juxx, Guilty Simpson, and Nolan The Ninja. In 2017, he released the “Get Mama Rich” EP with producer DaG, which was also released on LOC. The thing about Therapeutic is that it feels cohesive. As if everything is where it’s supposed to be.
The album isn’t A-Minus rapping over a bunch of different beats from a bunch of different producers. It’s A-Minus rapping alongside Chanes’ well-placed snares and kicks. With only a few select guest appearances including Nolan The Ninja, E-Fav, Norman Vincent, and the Cadillac Papers, this is A-Minus’ moment.
Therapeutic begins especially hazy, complete with lighter sound effects and demands to “roll that shit/ light that shit/ smoke it.” It’s fun, upbeat, and full of classic head-nod stoner moments. By the second to last song, “Lisa,” A-Minus opens up, reflecting on his experience as a husband and father. As he says, “Years before I made you wife/ some mistakes were made and it wasn’t making me right/ imma say you are the greatest thing that came in my life/ you brighten up my day/ it’s like you gave me the light.”
Ultimately, Therapeutic is compelling because A-Minus and Chanes each brought what they do best to the table and weren’t afraid to tell their story.