Bringing together two disparate artists for studio time usually doesn't produce material as compelling as this. But when 19-year-old Chicago MC Chance the Rapper and blippy beatmaker Nosaj Thing got together as part of the Songs from Scratch series, lightning struck.

After singing a few reggae-inflected lines, Chance begins rapping about the ubiquitous street violence in the South Side of Chicago with a heartbreaking matter-of-factness.

While the teenage MC raps about every-day tragedies society ignores, Nosaj crafts a dreamily dazed electronic soundscape. It's more bloops than beats, which somehow makes lines like, "Everybody's dying in the summer / So pray to God for a little more spring" even harder to take.

Listen to their letter from the front line above.