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Review: Washington DZ by FMB DZ

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Midway through the opening track “Hard To Kill” you’ll likely panic because it sounds like FMB DZ is out of breath. Are you about to hear him pass out on the track? Have no fear. This sense of morbid anticipation becomes a trademark of the listening experience of the album because DZ’s delivery reeks with excitement – he’s anxious to get his message out. Going into the album, if you don’t know much about the Detroit rapper, you’ll learn plenty enough to decide whether you like him or not. Judging by the project’s content, I’m pretty sure you will. By making use of some surprising instrumentation and keeping things short and sweet, DZ manages to gift a package that appetizes just enough to make the world eagerly anticipate another project.

DZ’s delivery could best be described as the perfect mix of guttural and smooth. It helps that he delivers at such a brisk pace because it covers up a lack of lyrical depth that other reviewers would knock off points for. I understand that not all rap music has to be an exercise in deciphering lyrics on Genius, so I find DZ’s content to be perfectly fine. He’s in the business of lifestyle and scenario raps, not verbal hieroglyphics. When he comes in at the beginning of any track, he comes prepared to kill: and that he does. His entrance on “Can’t Hang” plays off of the synths in the background nicely, almost as if he’s sneaking onto the microphone. The best comparison that can be derived would be Yung Gleesh, if Glessh put effort into his extremely casual raps. Of the two, DZ definitely has a leg up.

“Can’t Hang” is a noticeable stand out because of its relatively short length and complexity. Although the tracklist, in terms of song length, follows the pattern set on this song, the production quality varies. The simplistic production on “The Run” makes it sounds more like noise than the backhand support for DZ’s fierce, yet relaxed delivery. Elsewhere, on “Turn Around,” a similar production style is used – almost to the same, somewhat messy effect. But in both instances, DZ’s bars come through to save the day. On the latter track, DZ raps “I don’t give a fuck about your big homie/Big Bully on me, can’t no nigga out here pick on me” invoking the feelings of paranoia, acceptance, and bravado he projects onto listeners.

Aside from these two tracks, the production is surprisingly good. The prominent feature of snare drums on each track cuts across his vocals in a loud, brash statement that probably wouldn’t work for other rappers. Here, it acts as a metronome that DZ constantly refocuses and reshapes his verses around. Maybe the effect is unintentional, but it makes each listen very interesting because you can hear where he’s reformatting things. There’s also some serious piano play here, and a surprising saxophone appearance on “Voices” that sounds nothing short of beautiful. Producers on the project put in some serious work to lace DZ with their best work.

At 14 tracks, the project feels just right. DZ wrapped things up on a speedy note but left fans anticipating more. In an age where artists care more about streams – so they stuff releases with 20+ tracks – someone who realizes the value in creating a tightly put together package is very appreciated. Once the ending rolls around, you’ll be prepared to give it another spin – and you won’t feel exhausted.

By keeping it concise, DZ has created a project that’s both a joy to listen to and easily replayable. Questionable production on a couple of tracks isn’t enough to take away from interesting experimentation and DZ’s unique delivery. This should be the project that brings him to the forefront of both Detroit and mainstream rap success.

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Review: @LaBritney_ and @kashdoll ‘s “Actin Funny” showcases two of Detroit’s premier artists at their best

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It’s nice to see women from Detroit come together and create good music. La’Britney and Kash Doll have hooked up and created a true slapper called “Actin Funny.” Over the bouncy, Bay-Area inspired production, La’Britney and Kash Doll drop off verses about how people treat them once they start getting money. Both artists breath fresh air into the tried-and-true topic and showcase their talents, also showign off some new ones.

La’Britney starts off the proceedings by singing the chorus, and, if you thought she could only sing, be prepared to be suprised. She spits a hard verse; seriously, harder than many rappers who just spit. She showcases her venomous side – her talk of guns and shootouts sounds very believable by her not forcing any images, just talking regulalry. Afterwards, Kash Doll comes in and does her thing as usual. Is it even a question at this point?

Overall, very solid record from two amazing recording artists.

Checkout “Actin Funny” below.

 

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Review: Young Roc’s “Dreams” Is Unusual, Refreshing, And Daring

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In Detroit, raw lyricism and flow are the main points of interest in the rap scene. Without either, you’re often either overlooked or chastised. But Young Roc has made a case for choosing to circumvent these rap mainstays and focus on aesthetically daring music that channels lyricism and flow through unconventional means. He traverses through songs on the backs of eclectic melodies and daring production. It’s an amazing feat that has made him someone on our “Must Watch” list. His single “Dreams” only confirms his place as one of the most creative rappers in the city.

The track’s borderline pop production is a daring choice for Roc. Knowing that due to his past music that he’ll be categorized with the more lyric-heavy artists in the city, Roc still chooses to go for the outlandish. It works in its own exciting way. Roc’s vocals on the track match the wackiness of the production, blending pop aesthetics with gritty Detroit angst. It’s a beautiful track that shows just how creative Roc can get.

Listen to “Dreams” below.

 

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Review: @SOBxRBE ‘s “Paramedic!” Is Brilliant, One Of Black Panther Soundtrack’s Best

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When Black Panther comes out, people will cause a riot in theaters; partly because the movie has received stellar reviews, but mostly because the soundtrack for the film is of the highest quality. This isn’t an assortment of randomly selected hot songs in pop culture – it’s a carefully curated project by Kendrick Lamar. One of the best songs from the soundtrack comes from the Bay Area’s SOB X RBE collective, the enchanting “Paramedic!”

Kendrick Lamar offers a brief introduction before the tribal beat cuts on, placing listeners in an almost trance-like state. We heard Kilmonger’s name used at the beginning, so it’s reasonable to assume that the song could be related to the movie’s villain. If it is, it makes even more sense – the song has a darkly erotic vibe to it. The chant of “I wish a nigga would,” is long and drawn out, adding to the uniqueness of the track. It’s an enchanting listen that will send the crowd into a frenzy when it comes on during the film.

Listen to the engrossing listen below.

 

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