Also known as the Social Experiment, Grammy-winning hip-hop producers and songwriters Nico Segal and Nate Fox are the pair behind Intellexual, an atmospheric side project that adopted a more exploratory spirit than their prior work. Frequent collaborators with Chance the Rapper, the Los Angeles-based duo issued an album in 2015 as the Social Experiment before adopting the moniker Intellexual for their eponymous 2019 sophomore effort.
Following their breakthrough work with Chance the Rapper, Frank Ocean, and Kanye West, Chicago-bred trumpeter Segal and Rust Belt beatmaker Fox recorded an album as Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment titled Surf. Issued in 2015, the set included contributions from BJ the Chicago Kid, Big Sean, KYLE, Noname, DRAM, Janelle Monáe, Erykah Badu, and many more. After scoring Grammy Awards for their work on Chance's 2016 mixtape Coloring Book, the pair continued to produce. Segal dropped his Donnie Trumpet alias after 2016, and the pair eventually switched names altogether to Intellexual. With subdued and atmospheric production that incorporated inspiration from '70s singer/songwriters such as James Taylor, Carole King, and Carly Simon, as well as footwork, bossa nova, and experimental jazz and neo-soul, Intellexual recruited guests Esperanza Spalding, Vic Mensa, DJ Spinn, Raury, Knox Fortune, and others. ~ Neil Z. Yeung