Up Next (3/28) - Outwest Chico

Outwest Chico is a creative mastermind bound to blow up sooner rather than later.

The up-and-coming artist hails from Chicago’s West Side. Growing up, Chico moved back and forth between Chicago and Aurora - a city about 45 minutes west of Chicago. Having grown up in both cities, Chico claims both Chicago and Aurora as home. Shoutout to Aurora, my hometown as well.

The first part of Outwest Chico’s name stems from his roots in the West Side- commonly referred to as “outwest” by Chicagoans (shoutout Lud Foe). The second part stems from his brothers nicknaming him “Chico DeBarge” as a kid, after the R&B singer. Chico says they gave him the nickname because he was the only lightskin one out of his brothers.

Some of Outwest Chico’s main influences are Andre 3000, Kurt Cobain, Mac Miller, Kid Cudi, Kanye West, and Tyler, The Creator. Chico describes his sound as transparency; reflections on moods and feelings that any person could feel.

Spotlight Song:

“Ride 4 Me” (prod. K Swisha)

This track has impressed me time-after-time since my first listen. Outwest Chico goes ballistic on an icy beat from K Swisha - the frequent MadeinTYO producer who has credits from artists such as 2 Chainz, Lil Yachty, and Migos.

“Ride 4 Me” is a loyalty anthem at its finest. Chico repeatedly begs the question: “would you ride for me, like I ride for you?”, leaving the listener contemplating every relationship in their life. While the song refers to romantic relationships, the general premise is ambiguous. Pretty much anyone can feel the sentiment of this track; it also helps that the song sounds great. “Ride 4 Me” is a wonderful, well-rounded track.

Honorable Mentions:


Chico’s most recent offering features a wonderful sample of Frank Ocean’s “Nights”. This track is a butter-smooth listen; Chico glides over the euphoric instrumental with ease.

“No More”

This track might be Chico’s darkest, but also one of his best. He poetically reflects on heartbreak and frustration over a dark, wavy beat perfectly fit for his vocals. This track is true modern-day poetry.

“Sins” (feat. Trev)

This track honestly might be my favorite from Chico. “Sins” sees Chico’s bars and storytelling at their sharpest; the chorus sees Chico’s singing at its smoothest. Trev adds on to this great song with a solid feature. All in all, “Sins” is arguably the most enjoyable listen from Chico’s discography. This song makes me smile every time. 9 times of out 10, I’ll have to run it back for another listen.

Shameless Plug:

Chico is a representative for a collective called OTS - On This Side. Go check them out, and while you’re at it, check out Chico’s Twitter and Soundcloud