In spite of the generally very positive reviews, I somehow still haven’t listened to Chicago native Tree’s Sunday School project. Really all I knew about Tree was that he describes his music as “soul trap,” and that the features on his upcoming Sunday School II mixtape include Danny Brown and Roc Marciano, which is more than enough to get me to eagerly await its May 15 release date. With his new single “Devotion,” Tree has made it clear that Sunday School II will be worth checking out for more than just features. The beat is coproduced by B!NK of The Blueprint fame and follows that record’s soul sample-template with a healthy amount of grit replacing The Blueprint’s blinding gloss.
Soul is the right word to describe Tree’s voice. It sounds like every word he raps causes him pain, and when he’s rapping about working through life’s bullshit to get to the point where he has a functional rap career, his past and present tribulations are audible throughout. The first Sunday School mixtape just got prioritized in my queue of records to listen to, and I will not be missing his set when he rolls through Pitchfork this year.