Evan Nabavian’s coverage extends from Oakland to Sactown, the Bay Area and back down.

We associate strings with high society, swanky pianos and sentimental horns. I’m not sure if Pete Rock solely deserves credit for aligning saxophones with reminiscence or if the connection is deeper than that, but Lee Bannon uses a horn sample as a canvas for reflection on “It Was Great Here.” Chuuwee is too young to yearn for the good old days, but the scrappy young MC astutely captures the life of an aspiring artist.

Even though he’s musing over his life and career, Chuuwee is clear and assertive and never weepy. He raps about life on the road, “Blog postage from Oakland and love in Japan / A couple bones that the promoter just shoved in my hand / Then I’m shoved in the van / On my back to home to be an average Joe / On the road I’m the man.” Bannon loops a soul sample complete with silky harmonies and blaring horns, but keeps it rough and janky out of love for analog sound. The Sacramento duo might be the two best to come out of the Valley since Bibby and Webber.

Download:
MP3: Chuuwee & Lee Bannon – “It Was Great Here”
ZIP: Chuuwee & Lee Bannon-Hot N’ Ready MIxtape (Left-Click)