As much as it hurts me to say, I must confess that I hadn’t the slightest clue as to who Chris Rivers was before I listened to GITU. With just shy of forty thousand monthly listeners on Spotify, it’s fair to say that Chris Rivers hasn’t exactly taken off in popularity as of now. So if you’re like me and initially asking “who the hell is this guy, and why should I care”, stick around; you’re in for a real treat. If you’re a diehard hip-hop fan, the name Christopher Lee Rios might ring a bell, that’s right – Big Pun! Christopher Lee Rios Jr. is known professionally as Chris Rivers and is the youngest son of the late Big Pun. To compare Rivers to his father is both a compliment and an insult. Confused? Let me clarify: Big Pun is an absolute legend in his own right. Undoubtedly one of the greatest to ever touch the microphone, and a forever staple in the genre. But Pun’s son, Chris Rivers, is his own voice and entity. To place Rios Jr. on a pedestal simply because of his father’s fame would be an unfair dismissal and disservice to his talent. Just like many others with a famous name, Rivers is met with expectation by many to live up to Pun. And from listening to GITU, wow – Big Pun would be proud of his son!
Clocking in at just under fifty minutes, GITU (Greatest In The Universe) sheds light on a variety of aspects in River’s life. With reoccurring features from Oswin Benjamin, Anthiny King, as well as a modernized style of production and additional features from OCD and Avery, GITU showcases an intertwined mixture of impressive lyricism and new school instrumentals and melodies. Rivers covers a variety of topics, standing out are the relationships with his mother and late father, as well as his standings with women.
This album has a ton of replay value while also containing coherent themes and vibes throughout. I’m a sucker for punchlines and lyricism as a whole, and this album has a ton of that! Standout tracks for me, include: “Damaged Goods”, “Light”, “NASA”, “G.O.D”, “Sincerely Me”, and “Birds”. Objectively speaking, there really aren’t any weak tracks on the entirety of this album – it’s really incredible throughout! “Sincerely Me” is a touching tribute to Big Pun, “G.O.D” is a song I can see myself blasting at the gym, Damaged Goods is somewhat of an introspective and honest reflection of self – hell, even the skits provide insight and add tons to the album as a whole! I really can’t say anything negative about this album… with a proper management team and a strong community around him, I can see no reason as to why Chris Rivers cannot rise to mainstream levels of fame and respect one day. Are you feeling this album? I certainly am. Let us know what you think!