[dropcap]I[/dropcap]’ve been quite vocal in the past about the importance of album sequencing — especially when it comes to the narrative arc of a project’s storyline (no matter How loose). This is something that came into play when I was checking out this fascinating gem from Gladstone, Michigan, MC Chughey. Lost In My Mind is unique in that out of context, some of the project’s lighter fare, such as the age-old money chase of ”Casino, ” create a fresh, grind-savvy impression of Chughey. However, a top to bottom listen to his LP is, to say the least, a journey through the mind of a man dealing with more than he’s able to handle himself.
Starting off as a testament to the hustle he’s diligently dedicated himself to, “Maneuver” and “Nothing New” absolutely sparkle. Self-produced, the project has pretty tight production, and Chughey’s cadence really pulls things together nicely.
It’s when we hit “Feels Right” that things start to take a turn for the dark. What plays out as a complicated relationship that he’s unable to have fully reciprocated — despite deep emotional investment — plays into the next track “Deepest,” which sees him seemingly professing the stranglehold that love has over him, and how his aforementioned emotional investment simultaneously makes his object of affection a remedy and a weapon. “Off Of You,” is an uncomfortable confession that his demons destroyed the relationship he was in, and he is now struggling to exist without her engulfing his thoughts.
What stands out is “Fine,” which is a quintessential theme song for checking in on your friends. The song is a heart-wrenching confession that though he — though his exterior is hardened — is experiencing a crisis on the inside. We also learn as this portion of the tracklist progresses that he was numbing much of his emotions with alcohol; he later finds his way, and songs like the sunny “Wasted Days” feels like sunshine cutting through the haze that we’ve been taken through.
What happens when the plans change, and we get into a dark place? Many people go through it, and for Chughey, sharing his experience — whether or not it’s genuinely autobiographical — is brave and necessary in a landscape where mental health has proven to be one our generation’s greatest threats. While it definitely escalated quickly and probably isn’t a casual listen as a whole, it’s a worthwhile slice of honest, self-produced artwork.