The working title for rapper Greg Grease’s third album was So What—as in, that’s how he imagined people might react to music that didn’t serve as an escape from these dark times. But for Grease, “escape” is not the solution. Inspired by artists like Common, Goodie Mob, and even Curtis Mayfield, the forthcoming album, now titled Down So Long is a challenge to Grease himself—and to hip-hop at large—to keep sight of why they might seek that escapism in the first place. It’s also a reminder of why Grease has been a reliable voice in Minneapolis music over the past five years. He continues to embody the underdog perspective, similar to scene king Atmosphere, for whom he will open on tour later this year. Down So Long also features Grease’s bandmates in futuristic funk outfit ZULUZULUU; the end result, which Grease is still tweaking, is ambitious in both its lyrics and instrumentation, another potent salvo from an enlightened artist.