Most would agree most popular artists out there have something truly special to give to their fans. This goes above the typical attributes like raw talent, amazing songs, nice voice, or even a very marketable look, sound & image. There’s something truly infectious at the core of these artists that simply makes us feel good when we listen to them. Whatever “it” is – they all seem to have “it”.
About the Artist: Today I listened to the latest CD from Alabama based rapper Dirk Down (With a Vengeance) released in 2012 under his label Dirk Down Records. Venturing to the Internet I get the impression this guy is a diamond in the rough and is making quite a name for himself regionally via his “Dirty South’ sound. He was recently featured in The Source and XXL Magazines and for the record “LP” Means living Proof.
Review: From start to finish this CD from Dirk Down is very entertaining and a professional musical statement. It covers a lot of ground with many Rap, Hip Hop flavors. Any fans of any of these many musical styles will enjoy this latest release from Dirk Down. It’s clearly marketed for those who like the male fronted rap persona of say a Outkast, Nas, Jay-Z, Tupac, and even a splash of Biggie Smalls. Dirk Down holds his own behind the microphone, and is a world class songwriter. The plethora of musical professionals he brings to the table (Producers and Performers) only adds fuel to the fire. This includes DJ Young Cee, Grim Reefah, The Beat Botanist, Bamaboy Music Group, and UMP. This along with his marketable writing and impressive performances make for a deadly combination via a fully loaded 11 track set. Dirk Down is clearly being himself as an artist and not trying to be some over the top entertainer striving for mass appeal via shock value. In fact Dirk Down is one rapper that can be powerful and positive all at the same time. Favorite tracks include Track 4 (In The Beginning), Track 2 (Loudest of the Loud) and Track 7 (Legendary). All pieces have an amazing feel and solid production value delivering thick low end groove and crystal clear high end clarity. The sampling and production touches are rock solid and just makes the whole CD enjoyable. All in all one of the best rap productions I’ve heard this year.
Weakness: All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. There is no barcode on the flipside of the CD indicating retail non-compatibility. The 1 panel insert (opposite the front cover) is all you get and the CD itself is not made of quality silk screen material. All of the above is not typical of Gold Standard releases. The mix is extremely bright comparable to a BOLD FONT IN YOUR FACE FOR $45 + MINUTES. however I do understand these types of mixes are designed to maximize radio marketability and are popular within this genera. I will admit some of the above is production preference.
Conclusion: Again I see Dirk Down as a strong contender with his infectious persona, silky rap flow and amazing “dirty South” sound. This latest release showcased11 tracks that, each one marketable with their own right. If the masses tap into Dirk Down’s l messages he like puring gasoline of a fire. As time goes by he will no doubt see what happens, but in the mean time it’s nice to know in this saturated market of music there is one rapper out there who remains true to himself since he was 9 years old. In close most famous artists out there have “it” I’m not so sure what it but Dirk Down” definitely has whatever “it” may be.
(UK) West Lothian, Scotland