Chris Ellenwood is an indie artist from Sacramento, CA. His mixtape “DREAM/AWAKE” is a concept project. The first half is experienced within a dream and the second half is where Chris awakes and real life starts. Filled with intricate lyrical abilities, creative lines, great beats, humor, darkness and more, Chris forges advanced lyricism and eye-opening concepts across the mixtape’s 14 tracks. Chris Ellenwood intentionally flips a lot of the notions of the industry on its head and does a great job of jumping between profound and catchy songs. The beats on most of the songs are really great as well and it adds to a great sense of production value and quality put into the product by its producers. Without a doubt, this mixtape is well worth the time invested in listening to it all the way through.
“DREAM/AWAKE” holds up very well to the best in the game right now, not only from a lyrical and stylistic standpoint, but also from an intellectual and philosophical viewpoint as well. The mixtape starts strong and finishes even stronger, gearing towards a hip-hop vibe with a poignant message interlaced into it. Chris’ beat selection is impeccable (shout out to all the producers) and his lyrical prowess grows with each new track. Every once in a while there’s an artist that transcends their respective genre to obtain mass appeal with listeners no matter what their preferred genre is. Chris Ellenwood could easily be one of those artists.
This is hip-hop from a ridiculously underrated underground emperor. Chris Ellenwood lyrics are extremely deep, and stay on one’s mind for a mass amount of time. Tracks such as: “Dream (Prod. by DEHE)”, “The Town ft. King Jay (Prod. by MADEBYTRISTON)”, “The Other Guy (Prod. by ACR)”, “Awake ft. AlphaMale (Prod. by Inflicta)”, “No More Grief (Prod. by Larry Fisherman)”, “Pray ft. WHITE SLAVE (Prod. by Taylor King)”, “All In My Head (Prod. by tunnA Beatz)” and “Blue Pill (Prod. by Jacob Lethal Beats)”, will keep you embraced from start to finish, but I could as well run the entire playlist, because there’s not a bad track in the bunch. Why great artists’ like this do not get promo, while the less talented seem to hoard all attention and sales, really makes one wonder.
My first words of advice is, don’t sleep on this release by Chris Ellenwood. Even if you’ve never heard of him ever before, you’ll come out of this whole experience with a great mixtape and a new appreciation of another rapper from Sacramento. “DREAM/AWAKE” should be considered a modern day classic. It has everything from underground to commercial appeal. This is a serious mixtape with good production, hot tracks and serious lyrics. Chris Ellenwood is not to be played with by any industry emcee, period!