bckgrnd. reviews— "CAMP EAST" by East Chain


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“CAMP EAST” by East Chain made me fall in love with music again.


It’s been a while since I’ve heard of a creative project from rising artists that completely exceeded my expectations, specifically from a rap collective. The album’s rollout, high-quality production and presentation, calculated marketing, and the collective’s artistic chemistry all led to the album’s very successful release.


East Chain Recordings was founded in April 2013 by rap artists Michael Aristotle and Wili Hendrixs. The two’s main goal was to “bring together a collective of motivated creatives that hoped to provide a voice to the voiceless.” They organically grew their team & built an army of strong & insanely innovative artists and producers, engineers, and designers that have propelled the East Chain name to astronomical heights.


I hate that it is rare to find artists who genuinely share the same space and work to create something phenomenal. This collective focuses on the minute details of every aspect of creativity, building genuine relationships, and reaching a reciprocal audience.



To create a spark before the official opening of CAMP EAST, they released “CAMPFIRE” on June 1, 2021, featuring Michael Aristotle, Da Kidd Half, Andy Z6, and HQ Jonez. Each artist takes turns telling their stories, setting their minds and hearts ablaze. “Subtracting niggas— the only way we settle differences” is still one of the best lines I’ve heard, amongst a plethora of others.


“CAMP EAST” is a body of work that you would expect from a collective with the budget and marketing team of Dreamville or Top Dawg Entertainment. I have a more authentic and meaningful connection with East Chain than I do with the aforementioned groups. I was too young to understand the true impact of Dreamville, but East Chain feels closer to home. However, the one thing that all three rap collectives have in common is that they built a strong family dynamic between members that’s evident through the music and behind the scenes.


The overall theme for this album is camp— a group of young adults sharing one space getting into all types of fun and adventure. The album goes through a series of experiences with dreams, success, love, family, wealth, growth, and friendship. It shows each artist’s development, two specific gems being Michael Aristotle and Da Kidd Half.


My favorite tracks are “Yo Baby Daddy a J,” “Grand Marquis,” “GOAT,” “Be Careful,” “Fall For It,” and “Bizness,” featuring beautiful vocals from Shamba, who I adore so much.


The summer roster for CAMP EAST hosts the names of very prominent artists, producers, and engineers such as Michael Aristotle, Wili Hendrixs, Da Kidd Half, Woahheyitskyle, Mike 24K, HQ Jonez, Kasey Avenues, Seiko, Money Makin’ Nique, BOREGARD., and so many more!


I can’t reiterate enough how beautiful an album “CAMP EAST” is, and its release should be a blueprint for aspiring rap collectives to follow.



East Chain released the visual to “Grand Marquis” on July 6, 2021, featuring Kasey Avenues, Michael Aristotle, Da Kidd Half, and HQ Jonez. The visual marks the official opening of CAMP EAST and introduces each of the artists attending. Unfortunately, Kasey couldn’t make it in time due to some car trouble, but he still delivered in high fashion. Watch the visual below.


Stream “CAMP EAST” by East Chain on Apple Music & Spotify.




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