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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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Hip-Hop Legend Raekwon Returns to Deliver Third “Community Linx” Release with Diadora and Foot Locker, Inc.

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Hip-hop legend Raekwon, Diadora and Foot Locker, Inc. have returned to deliver a third “Community Linx” release – the Diadora N9002 Detroit.  

Community Linx is a collaborative franchise series that allows Raekwon to design product capsules built with and for local communities. Today’s Detroit release specifically focuses on the intersection of rap and fashion in the city. This capsule is launched with a local event that provides tools, resources, and a wealth of knowledge to local up-and-coming stylists looking to expand their portfolio. 

About the capsule: The Diadora N9002 Detroit features a black colorway with a pop of gold,  a leather upper, a rubber outsole for increased durability and traction, and Raekwon’s signature on the heel. The newest drop is available in men’s sizes exclusively sold at Foot Locker and Champs Sports beginning today, June 23rd for $120. The N9002 is an exclusive model for Foot Locker and Champs. If in Detroit, head to Foot Locker Detroit’s 17755 East Eight Mile Road Harper Woods, MI 48225 to purchase. 

About the community event: In support of the Diadora N9002 Detroit release, Raekwon, Diadora and Foot Locker Inc. have selected five up-and-coming Detroit stylists to join an invite-only, three-hour event made up of a styling workshop, Q&A, and portfolio photography session led by two well-known local stylists: Latrice Delgado-Macon and 10xMile. Each participating stylist will style a male model as if they were styling for Raekwon, inspired by one of five events the rapper frequently attends. In addition to valuable industry mentorship and career tools, Foot Locker will be providing the local stylist community with apparel, blanks, and accessories to customize and amplify their pieces. Participants will be able to capture their work with a photographer to build their portfolio. 

The Community Linx program kicked off earlier this year with an NYC-inspired Diadora N9002 release paired with an invite-only, four-week beat-making course that brought Raekwon and guest judge, Dave East together with 16 up-and-coming NYC artists through mentorship. The program has also made stops in Philly where local artists participated in an invite-only, four-round performance judged by Raekwon, Bri Steves and Beanie Sigel which resulted in one lucky winner receiving a personal session with Raekwon. Additional Community Linx launches representing Chicago, Los Angeles, and Houston will roll out through the remainder of the summer. 

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Rolling Loud Announces New York 2022 Dates, Early Bird Presale Starts June 3rd

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Growing from a one-day festival in 2015 to the world’s premier rap fest brand in 2021 and beyond, Rolling Loud is set to have its biggest year yet in 2022. Building on the recent announcement and sold-out presale for Miami 2022, Rolling Loud announces its return to the mecca of rap music with Rolling Loud New York 2022. Promising a mix of rap’s biggest names, rising stars, and Five Borough favorites, RL NY comes back to Citi Field in Queens, NY on September 23rd-25th, 2022. Offering early access to the festival at a special discounted lock-in price, presale tickets for Rolling Loud New York are available starting June 3rd @ 12pm ET at rollingloud.com/nytix.

Rolling Loud returns to New York after a successful 2021 event, which was the first Rolling Loud outside of Miami to span 3 days. With headliners that included J. Cole and 50 Cent, plus a laundry list of NYC stars past and present, including Bobby ShmurdaJoey Bada$$FergSleepy Hallow, and more, RL NY 2021 was a sold-out celebration of hip-hop in the genre’s birthplace.

Rolling Loud plans to expand its brand into international territory this year. The announcement of Rolling Loud New York 2022 comes hot on the heels of the festival’s reveal of Rolling Loud Toronto, the first-ever Rolling Loud in Canada, featuring an international array of A-listers including headliners FutureWizKid, and Dave. Rolling Loud starts its international expansion this summer, with Rolling Loud Portugal (July 6-8th, 2022) and WOO HAH! Fest in the Netherlands (July 1st-3rd).

The announcement of Rolling Loud New York continues a massive year for Rolling Loud, who warmed up for a loaded festival season with a standout showcase at SXSW, headlined by Don Toliver and showcasing some of rap’s hottest up-and-comers. Rolling Loud is hard at work in preparation for this summer’s Rolling Loud Miami 2022, boasting perhaps the most impressive group of headliners in Rolling Loud history: Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, and Future. With those superstars leading an array of A-listers and red hot risers, Rolling Loud Miami returns to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL on July 22nd-24th.

Led by its founders Matt Zingler and Tariq Cherif, Rolling Loud is on a mission to top their massively successful 2021. Stay tuned for many more announcements, as Rolling Loud continues to lead the vanguard of live music experiences in hip-hop and beyond.

Buy tickets for Rolling Loud New York 2022 (on sale June 3rd @ 12pm ET): rollingloud.com/nytix

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Rolling Loud Expands to Toronto; Future, WizKid & Dave to Headline

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Expanding from a Miami institution into a global behemoth in seven short years, Rolling Loud is not done growing. Today, the World’s Premier Rap Festival announces Rolling Loud Toronto, its first ever festival in Canada and its fourth festival in four different countries in 2022. Making a new home in the most multiculturally diverse city in North America, the upcoming Rolling Loud Toronto recruits headliners FutureWizKid, and Dave to lead a bill filled with ultra-talented artists from across the globe. Located in Ontario Place, a gorgeous space on the shores of Lake Ontario that overlooks the famous Toronto skyline, Rolling Loud Toronto makes its debut on September 9th-11th, 2022. Tickets for Rolling Loud Toronto go live at 12pm ET on Friday, April 29th

For its first Canadian festival, Rolling Loud curated its most diverse and wide-ranging North American bill to date. Beyond the headliners, Rolling Loud Toronto brings American rap stars and Rolling Loud regulars like Lil Uzi VertMigosRoddy RicchTrippie ReddLil Yachty, and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, alongside Canadian rap titans like NAVBelly, and Pressa, and UK top men including SkeptaCentral Cee, and AJ Tracey. Like all Rolling Loud festivals, the upcoming event prominently features some of the hottest rising names in rap, like Lil Tecca,  BIA, Ski Mask The Slump God, and many more.

Rolling Loud Toronto continues a massive year for Rolling Loud, who warmed up for a loaded festival season with a standout showcase at SXSW, headlined by Don Toliver and showcasing some of rap’s hottest up-and-comers. Rolling Loud is hard at work in preparation for this summer’s Rolling Loud Miami 2022, boasting perhaps the most impressive group of headliners in Rolling Loud history: Kanye WestKendrick Lamar, and Future. With those superstars leading an array of A-listers and red hot risers, Rolling Loud Miami returns to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL on July 22nd-24th.

Led by its founders Matt Zingler and Tariq Cherif, Rolling Loud is on a mission to top their massively successful 2021. Rolling Loud Toronto continues the brand’s international expansion, coming on the heels of Rolling Loud Portugal (July 6-8th, 2022) and WOO HAH! Fest in the Netherlands (July 1st-3rd). Stay tuned for many more announcements, as Rolling Loud continues to lead the vanguard of live music experiences in hip-hop and beyond.

Buy tickets for Rolling Loud Toronto at https://www.rollingloud.com/toronto on 4/29 @ 12pm ET.

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