cam o'bi tenderheaded

On “Tenderheaded,” Cam O’bi takes center stage, with a little help from Smino.

To be a “Grown Ass Kid” is to believe you are a know-it-all. At times you’re a prodigy or simply somebody far too wise beyond their years. A family member will remark that you’re your current age going on something you shouldn’t even be ready for yet. It’s how the “grown ass kid” label works. Two years ago, Chance The Rapper teamed with Chicago co-horts Mick Jenkins and Alex Wiley for “Grown Ass Kid“. The song’s producer, Cam O’bi was so inspired by the melody he created that not only did he take the song title for his own debut album, he tinkered a bit with it to make an entirely new song.

“Tenderheaded” is a track ripe with pieces of nostalgia. The Chicago based, Las Vegas-born producer, who helped produce SZA’s “Doves In The Wind” as well as Isaiah Rashad’s bouncy “Free Lunch” cut spends most of his verse looking back at days to the barbershop where wanting and wishing for your perfect haircut only for your mom to step in. Adding to the free-wheeling joy of the track? O’bi sampled his own nephew’s cries for the track to truly reel it all in. Smino is his usual playful self, weaving through a verse centered around pursuing music and operating against an established system. The very first line is telling enough. There is only one way the St. Louis rapper would only sing the national anthem on one condition: if David Banner produced it.

O’bi’s passions both in front of and behind the boards have long been noted. NPR has already tapped the track as one of their favorites and by the time Grown Ass Kid is released, you’ll be looking back on all the times your new growth and dead hair wanted to fight one another when your mom was around with the good comb. Stream “TenderHeaded” from Cam O’bi & Smino below.

Grown Ass Kid is due out later this year.