Air Credits are the dynamic hip hop duo of producer Hood Internet (given name Steve Rydell) and MC Clinton Sandifer aka ShowYouSuck, The Chicago-based project has been active since 2016 when they released their debut LP Broadcasted—a gallery of smooth, future-fixated jams that combined warm analog R’nB and sparkling synth-pop melodies in a way that felt like both an evolution of, and anecdote to, the SoundCloud era of hip hop.
Air Credits’s Believe That You’re Here is a much different album and the product of a divergent journey from its predecessor. While Broadcasted saw the duo at their freshest and most eager, their latest album is a portrait of two artists who are wary of the future and troubled by events of the recent past.
Believe That You’re Here comes at the tail end of a series of EPs that Air Credits produced during 2020 called the Wasteland Radio New Archives. The series imagined each release as a recovered audio artifact, scavenged from the radioactive ash of some future post-apocalyptic badlands. Or maybe they’re missives from today and our present dystopia? Seems equally likely given the current state of affairs.
One of the aspects of Air Credits’s evolution from their debut through the Wasteland Radio New Archives, and which is most evident on Believe That You’re Here, is their straining out of direct R ‘n’ B influences and their integration of what is left into a more industrial sounding sonic landscape.
There is still a good deal of funk and groove to these tracks; it’s just more twisted, distorted and vicious sounding. This change in approach gives ShowYouSuck the chance to feel out flows that are both more patient and more biting. Sometimes he mimics the viper strike of clipping’s Daveed Diggs, like on searing and austere “Party Outside” or when he cuts through the slowly consuming fire of “Hot One” bitter warnings from looming future-present.
More often, though, ShowYourSuck‘s cadence and delivery are with out parallel, like on the snappy and compact “Domestic Trash Service” where he bites and chews at a wind-sculpted post-punk groove like an excavator tearing into a mountainside, or on stifling, a streamlined simmer of “Drowning” where his delivery percolates between a babbling roil and a surfing skiff of a sneer.
Believe That You’re Here is a short album but it feels like an important pivot point for the band following a tumultuous year and concept-heavy series of EPs. It’s a weird world we live in, and it can be hard to believe that you are actually alive to witness some of the disasters that occur on a daily basis. Hood Internet and ShowYouSuck get that feeling too. They’ve just managed to put it to a beat.
Buy and stream Believe That You’re Here via Bandcamp below: